Nikkei set to tread in range ahead of U.S. jobs data

Fri Dec 7, 2012 4:43am IST

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TOKYO, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is
expected to tread in range on Friday after closing above the key
9,500-mark for the first time in seven months in the previous
session and ahead of U.S. jobs data.
    The Nikkei is likely to trade between 9,450 and
9,600, strategists said, while Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 9,540 on Thursday, unchanged from the Osaka
 close.
    "We will see some profit-taking. However, there are
expectations for further upside. There are very strong
expectations. Investors will not want to sell too much," said
Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Inc.
    The Nikkei has rallied 10.2 percent over the past 3-1/2
weeks as the yen has weakened after Shinzo Abe, the leader of
the main opposition party which is expected to win a Dec. 16
general election, called for the Bank of Japan to embark on
"unlimited easing" and set an inflation target of 2 percent.
    Half of Japan's manufacturers say their top request for the
winner of the election is a push to weaken the yen, which they
see as critical to reviving the country's economy, a Reuters
polls showed. 
    Hiroki also said some investors might keep to the sidelines
ahead of the U.S. nonfarm payrolls data due later on Friday.
    Economists in a Reuters survey forecast 93,000 jobs were
created in the United States last month compared with 171,000
jobs in October, while the unemployment rate is seen at 7.9
percent.
    On Thursday, the Nikkei rose 0.8 percent to 9,545.16,
hitting a seven-month closing high for the second day in a row
and taking the index to "overbought" territory, with its 14-day
relative strength index at 70.5. The broader Topix ended
0.9 percent higher at 788.74.
    Investor demand for Nikkei index call options outstripped
demand for put options on Thursday. Societe Generale said the
most traded call options had a strike price of 9,750, 2.1
percent above where the Nikkei ended on Thursday, and a December
maturity.
    The next most traded was another December call with a strike
price of 10,000, followed by a put at 9,250 and another call at
9,500.
    The benchmark Nikkei is up 12.9 percent this year, in line
with a 12.4 percent rise in the U.S. S&P 500 but behind a
14 percent gain in the pan-European STOXX Europe 600 
index.
        
> Apple's gains lift tech in quiet day before jobs data     
> Euro slides on rate-cut hopes after ECB decision        
> U.S. 10-year yields near 3-week lows before jobs data    
> Gold up on ECB rate cut talk, non-farm payrolls eyed    
> Oil falls on euro zone concerns, dollar strength         
    
    STOCKS TO WATCH
    --JAPAN TOBACCO INC 
    Japan Tobacco said on Thursday it has applied to sell an
anti-HIV drug treatment in Japan. If approved by the Health
Ministry, it would be the only once-daily single-tablet regimen
for HIV infection in Japan, it said. 
    --NISSAN MOTOR CO 
    Renault and partner Nissan's $750 million deal to
give the French manufacturer effective control of Lada maker OAO
AvtoVAZ is expected to be signed next week, two
sources close to the Russian company said on Thursday.
 
    --KENEDIX INC 
    Japan real estate asset manager Kenedix has brought in
state-owned lender Development Bank of Japan and developer Tokyu
Land Corp as partners to develop a property in central
Tokyo at a cost of 80 billion yen ($972 million).
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