Nikkei edges up, gains in Fast Retailing offset weak exporters

Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:31pm IST

Related Topics

* Nikkei adds 0.1 pct; Topix slips 0.2 pct
    * Exporters fall as China posts weaker than expected trade
data
    * Fast Retailing rises after Nomura lifts price target
    * Advantest surges on report of strong orders this qtr
    * Renesas up on report of accepting 200 bln yen investment

    By Dominic Lau
    TOKYO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average edged
higher on Monday as gains in index heavyweights Fast Retailing
Co Ltd and Advantest Corp erased losses caused
by investors booking profits in export-focused firms after
weaker-than-expected Chinese trade data.
    The Nikkei ended 0.1 percent higher at 9,533.75,
after trading as high as 9,584.46, its best level since late
April.
    Fast Retailing, the operator of Uniqlo casual clothing
chain, was the top weighted gainer, advancing 1.5 percent after
Nomura Securities lifted its price target. 
    Advantest Corp climbed 3.9 percent and was the
second-top weighted gainer on the index after Bloomberg news
quoted the chip tester maker's President Haruo Matsuno as saying
that he expected new orders to rise 20 percent in the
October-December quarter from the previous three months.
    A 10-percent rally in the Nikkei over the past 3-1/2 weeks
was, however, showing some signs of fatigue, as investors
pocketed gains in some of the exporters, with Canon Inc
, TDK Corp, Honda Motor Co and Nissan
Motor Co down between 0.6 and 3.1 percent.
    China's exports rose in November at a much weaker pace than
expected and imports were flat, taking some shine off weekend
data that had suggested the world's second-largest economy was
regaining momentum. [ID:nEAP307B01
    "A good deal has been discounted in the price. From a
seasonality factor, a lot of the investors will go to the
sidelines and take a wait-and-see attitude, so we will have a
thin volume market for the next couple of weeks." said Yasuo
Sakuma, portfolio manager at Bayview Asset Management. "The
market will move in a very narrow range ... say 9,300 to 9,600."
    Sakuma was among those who cashed in on recent gains in the
Nikkei as the yen has weakened after calls by Shinzo Abe, the
leader of the main opposition which is expected to win a Dec. 16
general election, for the Bank of Japan to embark on "unlimited
easing" and set an inflation target of 2 percent.  
    "I bought high-beta sectors like securities and materials.
Fortunately those cyclical sectors posted sharp rally through
November. I took profit on them. We have increased our cash
position in the past couple of days," he said.
    The broader Topx index slipped 0.2 percent to
788.48, with 1.94 billion shares changing hands, down from
Friday's 2.09 billion but slightly ahead of last week's average
of 1.91 billion.
    Stefan Worrall, director of equity cash sales at Credit
Suisse in Tokyo, said some in the market were concerned that a
lot of the positive outcome had been priced in to the market and
it needed further positive news to push the index higher. 
    
    SHARP DOWN, RENESAS UP
    Sharp Corp sank 5.6 percent after rallying nearly
26 percent on short-covering after U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc
 said it will invest as much as $120 million in the
struggling TV maker.
    Short-selling interest in Sharp has fallen lately although
it still remained high, with 91.15 percent of its stock that is
available to be borrowed out on loan as of Dec. 6, down from
93.46 percent on Nov. 30, according to data provider Markit.
    Ailing chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp, climbed
3 percent after the Nikkei business daily reported the Japanese
company decided to accept capital investment from the
government-backed Innovation Network Corp of Japan and other
manufacturers, including Toyota Motor Corp.
    Japanese equities carry a 12-month forward price-to-earnings
ratio of 12.1, more expensive then the pan-European STOXX Europe
600's 11.1 but cheaper than the U.S. S&P 500's 
12.5, data from Thomson Reuters Datastream showed.
    The benchmark Nikkei is up 12.8 percent this year, in line
with a 12.8 percent rise in the S&P 500 but lagging a 14.2
percent gain in the STOXX Europe 600.
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