Nikkei rebounds as pessimism eases about China-related firms
* Japan Airlines trades above IPO price * China-related firms bounce back as worries ease * BOJ eyed for policy decision on further easing By Sophie Knight TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average climbed in early trade on Wednesday as stocks of firms with exposure to China recovered after anti-Japan protests in the country did not intensify, while hopes for further monetary easing by the Bank of Japan lent support. Japan Airlines Co Ltd's public re-listing drummed up strong demand, opening at 3,810 yen and trading at 3,840 yen by mid-morning, 1.3 percent above its initial public offering price of 3,790 yen per share. It was the most-traded stock on the main board. The IPO is the second-biggest in the world this year after social network Facebook Inc's $16 billion offering, and will raise 663 billion yen ($8.4 billion). The Nikkei picked up 0.6 percent to 9,178.28, helped by gains for firms with exposure to China that were heavily sold off on Tuesday after anti-Japan protests in China sparked by a territorial dispute led to closures of Japanese factories and shops. "Fast Retailing's rebound is propping up the Nikkei in the same way that its fall yesterday dragged it down," said Masato Futoi, head of cash equity trading at Tokai Tokyo Securities. Fast Retailing Co Ltd recovered 3.2 percent, contributing 20 positive points to the benchmark, after sliding 7 percent on Tuesday, when the company closed more than 40 of its Uniqlo casual clothing stores throughout the country. The broader Topix gained 0.3 percent to 760.93. "Since the situation neither improved nor worsened yesterday it's likely some people will be buying back shares that were heavily sold off yesterday on a worst-case scenario," said Masayuki Doshida, senior market researcher at Rakuten Securities. Nissan Motor Co rebounded 1.3 percent after the company said it will resume production at four plants in Guangzhou and Zhengzhou in China on Wednesday after having halted operations there following anti-Japanese demonstrations. The market was also buoyed by a softer yen, which prevented a sharper fall on Tuesday, although the currency's movements will likely depend on whether the Bank of Japan decides to ease further at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting ending later on Wednesday. "I think there's about a 60 percent chance of the BOJ easing," said Doshida. "The European Central Bank's decision to buy sovereign bonds and the U.S. Federal Reserve introducing QE3 has put pressure on the bank to follow suit to avoid the yen strengthening." However, Doshida also said that the BOJ may decide to hold fire this time, as it waits for the outcome of its "tankan" survey of corporate sentiment at the end of the month. The real estate sector was the worst-performing sub-index on the Topix, slipping 0.4 percent in a reflection of investor uncertainty around the BOJ's decision.
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