Nikkei set to open lower on U.S. fiscal worries, Greece

Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:48am IST

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TOKYO, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is
set to open lower on Wednesday as market participants ponder
whether a potential U.S. fiscal crisis and worry about delays in
aid for debt-laden Greece will  sour investor sentiment.
    "Since volume is expected to stay low, the cash market is
likely to be swayed by futures trading," said Hiroichi Nishi,
general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities. "Although a technical
rebound is possible after the Japanese market has dropped a lot,
with such lingering concerns on the U.S. and Europe, investors
are staying risk averse."
    Concerns about the looming "fiscal cliff" may keep trading
subdued as lawmakers returned to Washington after the Nov. 6
election, when President Barack Obama won a second term and the
Democratic Party added to its majority in the U.S. Senate and
picked up seats in the House of Representatives.
    The Nikkei slipped 0.2 percent to 8,661.05 points, 
hitting a four-week closing low for the third day in a row on
Tuesday. It fell for a seventh straight session, its longest
losing streak in seven months. The broader Topix index
was flat at 722.56.
   The market is grappling with how a divided U.S. Congress will
deal with the series of mandated tax hikes and spending cuts
that start to take effect next year and could take the world's
largest economy back into recession. Serious negotiations are
still weeks away, analysts said. 
    A euro-zone finance ministers' meeting on Monday gave Greece
two more years to make cuts, but held off disbursing more aid as
the euro zone and IMF clashed over a longer-term target date to
shrink the country's debt. 
    Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between
8,600 to 8,750 on Wednesday.
    Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 8,655, down
from the close in Osaka of 8,670.
    The benchmark is still up 2.4 percent so far this year but 
lags behind a 9.3 percent rise in the U.S. S&P 500 and a 
10.6 percent gain in the pan-European STOXX Europe 600.
    
> Microsoft leads Wall St lower, but retailers gain         
> Euro slips vs yen, dollar on Greece, Spain concerns     
> Bonds rise on concern about U.S., Europe economies       
> Palladium, platinum rally after report, gold flat       
> Brent crude falls on demand concerns, fragile economies  
    STOCKS TO WATCH
    
    -- Olympus Corp 
    Olympus shareholders have filed suit against the company in
a Tokyo court seeking 19.1 billion yen ($240.5 million) in
compensation over an accounting fraud that was one of corporate
Japan's biggest scandals.
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