Nikkei set to rise, large buy orders from foreign brokers
TOKYO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to open high on Monday, led by exporters as the yen hit a 20-month low after the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, which favours aggressive monetary easing, won Sunday's election by a landslide. The Nikkei is likely to trade between 9,700 and 9,900, strategists said, while Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 9,755 on Friday, down 0.1 percent from the Osaka close of 9,760. Foreign brokers put in a net buy orders of 12.9 million shares, the largest net purchase since Sept. 7 "The yen has weakened further, which is positive for stocks so there will be some buying," said Kenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities. "The LDP's victory likely means more monetary easting, and a weaker yen, but some of the expectations were already priced in last week, so there might be some adjustments which will likely cap gains today." The yen fell to a 20-month low of 84.48 yen to the dollar on Monday. A softer yen helps boost Japanese exporters' overseas earnings when repatriated and improves their competitiveness. The Nikkei dipped 0.1 percent to 9,737.56 on Friday, although it was up 2.2 percent for the week, its fifth straight week of gains. The broader Topix index added 0.2 percent to 801.04 in the previous session. The benchmark Nikkei has risen 12.4 percent over the past 4-1/2 weeks, spurred by a weaker yen after Shinzo Abe, the leader of the LDP which was expected to win the election, called for the Bank of Japan to undertake bolder policy action, including embarking on "unlimited easing". The rally has taken the year-to-date gain for the Nikkei to 15.2 percent, ahead of a 12.4 percent rise in the U.S. S&P 500 and a 14.3 percent gain in the pan-European STOXX Europe 600 index. > Wall St ends lower on sour Apple, 'cliff' uncertainty > Yen slumps to 20-month low following LDP victory > Treasuries rise as tame inflation supports Fed policy > Gold under $1,700 on US fiscal worry, thin holiday trade > Oil rises on China data as January Brent nears expiry STOCKS TO WATCH --ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS The carrier increased its stake in Starflyer Inc to 18 percent to 0.93 percent, making it the top shareholder in the small carrier, which the Nikkei newspaper said was a bid to shore up its earnings base against a revitalised Japan Airlines Co and other rivals.
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