Nikkei set to rise on yen's weakness; targets 33-Month high
TOKYO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is set to gain on Tuesday as exporters will likely benefit from a weaker yen after a U.S. Treasury official said the U.S. supports Japan's efforts to end deflation and re-invigorate growth. Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 11,250 to 11,450, moving closer to a 33-month high of 11,498.42 struck last Wednesday. The index ended down 1.8 percent to 11,153.16 on Friday. Markets were closed on Monday for a national holiday. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 11,395, up 2.0 percent from the close in Osaka of 11,170. As finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations are scheduled to meet this week, investors betting on a weaker yen were relieved after the Japanese currency slumped against the dollar and euro after U.S. Treasury Undersecretary Lael Brainard said the United States supports Japanese efforts to end deflation and re-invigorate growth. "Investors were worried that finance ministers would criticize the recent weakness in the yen. While the currency moves have been sensitive to officials' comments in general, people thought any comment from G20 would trigger yen buying," said Hiroichi Nishi, an assistant general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities. "But such worries are receding as she (Brainard) said she supports Japan's efforts to end deflation." Japan's aggressive expansionary monetary policies have sharply weakened the yen in recent months, promoting concerns in Europe and the United States. The dollar touched a high of 94.42 yen on Monday, its highest level since May 2010. "This new yen weakness is a fresh catalyst to lift the market," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities, adding that the Nikkei is likely to easily regain about 200 points in early trade. > Wall St ends flat as investors seek new catalysts > Euro rebounds on Weidmann comment; yen plunges > Prices steady to lower ahead of new U.S. debt supply > Gold falls to 1-month low on weak physical demand > Brent oil falls after U.S. blizzard; Europe worries drag STOCKS TO WATCH --Denso Corp Denso said Friday that it will invest about 460 million yen in A&D Co., forming a partnership to jointly develop medical equipment with the measuring device manufacturer.