Nikkei seen treading in range, investors eye upcoming events
TOKYO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average was seen moving sideways on Tuesday due to a lack of incentives to either push the benchmark higher or sell off as investors await the appointment of a new Bank of Japan governor. Market participants said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 11,300 and 11,500 on Tuesday, but would probably not see a large swing due to a steadier yen and a lack of major factors as U.S. markets were closed on Monday for a national holiday. "A sense of 'wait-and-see' is going to pervade today," said Masayuki Doshida, senior market analyst at Rakuten Securities. "Although people are relieved that Japan 'passed the test' at the G20, there are risks on the horizon: will people continue buying the dollar and the euro with Walmart earnings, E.U. PMI and the Italian election on the horizon?" Japan's economic policies, which have led to a softer yen, escaped direct criticism at a meeting of G20 policymakers in Moscow at the weekend, sparking a dip in the Japanese currency. Concerns about the euro zone's economic outlook were exacerbated after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said the euro's appreciation added downside risks to inflation in the wake of data showing that recession in the region was deeper in the last three months of 2012 than expected. Japanese exporters have benefited from the yen's 20 percent fall against the common currency since November, when Shinzo Abe, now prime minister, began calling for a weaker yen. Market players remain optimistic that the appointment of a new Bank of Japan governor that is more willing to pursue aggressive monetary policy than his predecessor could be a tailwind for the stock market. The Nikkei jumped 2.1 percent on Monday to 11,407.87, approaching the 4-year high it struck on Feb. 6, after the G20's implicit approval of Japan's economic policies softened the yen, leading to gains for exporters and financials. > European shares fall for 3rd day, Carlsberg drags > Draghi comments knock euro, yen resumes broad falls > Bond yields up on consumer sentiment; budget talks eyed > Gold edges lower on lower euro, absent U.S. players > Brent steadies below $118, global growth hopes support STOCKS TO WATCH -BRIDGESTONE CORP Bridgestone said its operating profit had shot up 50 percent in the year ended Dec. 31, reaching a record 286 billion yen ($3 billion) due to a drop in the cost of rubber and other raw materials and price rises in its U.S. and Japan markets. - NTN CORP NTN said it will reduce domestic staff and shift production overseas, in a bid to increase operating profit for the year ending March 2015 to 40 billion yen ($426 million), approximately five times the projected amount for this year.
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