Nikkei to stay near 4-wk high but resistance looms
TOKYO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average on Thursday is likely to stay near a four-week high struck the previous day, but its advance is expected to stall at technical resistance levels ahead of key events in Europe. Many market players said selling is likely to emerge between 8,700 and 8,800, where the Nikkei traded heavily from October to early November. The bottom of the cloud on the daily Ichimoku chart also looms at 8,747. On Wednesday, the benchmark Nikkei added 1.7 percent to 8,722.17, its highest close in four weeks and ending above its 75-day moving average for the first time since late October, supported by optimism on progress in the euro zone's efforts to contain its debt crisis. The broader Topix index gained 1.6 percent to 749.63. "As the Nikkei gained considerably yesterday, further gains will be limited ahead of key events in Europe. But sentiment is improving," said Toshiyuki Kanayama, a market analyst at Monex Securities. Still, many investors are likely to stay on the sidelines for now as they look to the European Central Bank's policy meeting later in the day, where a rate cut of 0.25 percentage point is expected. This will be followed by an EU summit on Friday, where investors hope leaders will make progress in efforts to bolster confidence in euro zone sovereign debt, including further integration of the bloc's fiscal policy. Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 8,650 and 8,750 on Thursday. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 8,710, up from the close in Osaka of 8,680. > Wall St edges up with eyes on EU summit > Euro steady vs dollar ahead of ECB, EU summit > Bond prices rise as EU hopes tempered > Gold rises in thin trade, awaits ECB, EU meetings > Oil falls on higher U.S. stocks, EU worries STOCKS TO WATCH --Tepco The Japanese government is considering injecting at least 1 trillion yen ($12.9 billion) into Tokyo Electric to shore up the depleted capital of the Fukushima nuclear plant operator, the Mainichi newspaper reported on Thursday. --Olympus Olympus Corp said on Wednesday it would set up two expert panels to consider legal steps against those responsible for a huge loss cover-up scheme and to examine the responsibility of auditors. --Softbank Softbank Corp's mobile business gained 312,000 new subscribers in November, beating rivals KDDI and NTT Docomo for the 20th consecutive month, boosted by strong sales of Apple's iPhone 4S. -- Panasonic Panasonic Corp will have to pay a penalty of 7.668 million euros after the European Commission said on Wednesday it was fining six producers of refrigeration compressors including Panasonic.