Nikkei set to trade in range after 8-1/2 mth high
TOKYO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to trade in a range on Tuesday after climbing to an 8-1/2-month high in the previous session on the landslide election win by the conservative Liberal Democratic Party. The Nikkei is likely to trade between 9,800 and 9,950, strategists said, while Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 9,860 on Monday, up 0.5 percent from the Osaka close of 9,820. "The so-called Abe trade is likely to be over. I think the market will see some sell-off but will be supported by dip buying," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Inc. The Nikkei rose 0.9 percent to 9,828.88 on Monday, buoyed by a weaker yen on expectations that the LDP would step up the pressure on the Bank of Japan to further ease policy. The broader Topix index gained 0.9 percent to 807.84. The benchmark Nikkei has risen 13.4 percent over the past month, driven by the yen weakness after Abe called for the central bank to undertake "unlimited easing" and set an inflation target of 2 percent. Analysts remained positive on Japanese equities over the medium-term. "The election outcome reinforces our view that earnings will enjoy a V-shaped recovery and assuming the new LDP-led government takes meaningful steps to revive the economy in the coming months, we continue to forecast Topix to reach 820/900/930 in the next 3/6/12 months," Goldman Sachs said in a note. On Monday, investors' demand for Nikkei index call options outpaced demand for put options on Monday. Societe Generale said the most traded Nikkei call options had a strike price of 10,250, 4.3 percent above where they ended on Monday, and a January expiry. The next most-traded was a January call at 10,500, followed by a January put at 9,500 and another put at 9,000 with the same maturity. > Optimism about 'fiscal cliff' boost market > Yen hit as loose Japan policy seen; Draghi drags on euro > Treasuries fall as hopes for fiscal deal dims safety bid > Gold ends near flat, capped by US budget talks progress > Brent dips, U.S. crude rises on fiscal talks STOCKS TO WATCH --MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES LTD Japan's newly-elected Liberal Democratic Party, a strong supporter of atomic energy use in the past, should restart plants shut after the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years, said the CEO of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
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