Nikkei set to gain after Wall St, gains seen limited

TOKYO (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s Nikkei share average is likely to rise on Friday, helped by an advance on Wall Street, although renewed concern over Greece’s fiscal woes hurt other global shares and Tokyo’s gains may be limited ahead of a three-day weekend.

Aeon Co Ltd may draw attention after Japan’s second-largest retailer said it was likely to post an operating profit of 128.8 billion yen ($1.4 billion) for the year ended in February, beating market expectations thanks to a sharp recovery in the second half.

“The market will likely regain ground after U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) had a solid performance despite a weaker euro and a fall in European stocks,” said Kazuhiro Takahashi, general manager at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets.

“Investors will likely focus on shares of companies that have earnings-related news such as Aeon and defensive stocks, but they generally find it hard to actively take positions ahead of three-day weekends.”

The benchmark Nikkei is poised for a higher start after Nikkei futures traded in Chicago closed at 10,795, up 1 percent from the Osaka close.

The Nikkei is likely to move between 10,700 and 10,850 on Friday, market players said. It fell 1 percent to 10,744.03 the previous day, falling from a two-month intraday high of 10,864.30 struck on Wednesday.

Japanese markets will be closed on Monday for a national holiday.

The Dow industrials rose for an eighth consecutive session on Thursday, lifted by a rise in Boeing’s stock, while a mixed group of economic figures kept the broader S&P 500 in check.

European shares fell, led lower by the banking sector, with lingering concerns over Greece’s economic situation adding to market worries following a media report that the country may turn to the IMF to deal with its debt crisis.

STOCKS TO WATCH

— Daiwa Securities Group Inc

Daiwa Securities plans to buy the Indian asset management business of Japanese lender Shinsei Bank for an estimated 1 billion yen ($11.1 million), the Nikkei business daily said.

Separately, Daiwa Securities said on Thursday it will lead-manage an initial public offering in China through a local joint venture, making it the first Japanese brokerage to do so.

— All Nippon Airways Co (ANA)

ANA is expected to suffer a roughly 60 billion yen group operating loss for the year ending March 31, worse than the previously forecast 20 billion yen loss, as the economy faltered and a new influenza virus spread, the Nikkei business daily said.

— Inpex Corp, other energy-related shares

Oil fell nearly 1 percent toward $82 a barrel on Thursday, ending a two-day rally as the dollar strengthened against the euro amid concerns about Greece’s debt problems.

— Hitachi Ltd

Hitachi said on Thursday it has decided to skip dividend payments for the financial year ending in March.

Money

(Reporting by Aiko Hayashi; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Nikkei set to gain after Wall St, gains seen limited