Nikkei set to fall on worries over U.S., euro-zone economies

Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:35pm EST

TOKYO, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is
expected to fall for a second day on Friday after Wall Street
weakened on worries about the U.S. and euro-zone economies, with
investors waiting to see if the United States backs Japan's
plans to revive its economy.
    Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between
11,150 to 11,300, after falling 1.4 percent to 11,309.13 on
Thursday. The market hit a 52-month high of 11,510.52 on
Wednesday
    Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 11,270, down
0.4 percent from the close in Osaka of 11,320.
    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets U.S. President
Barack Obama in Washington on Friday, seeking to put a strong
alliance on display and looking for support for his economic
revival policies of big spending and hyper-easy monetary policy.
 
    "Investors will be watching headlines out of the meeting,
and they are highly sensitive to what they would mean to the
Japanese economy," said Hiroichi Nishi, an assistant general
manager at SMBC Nikko Securities.
    Nishi said most investors were also holding fire until the
nomination of a new Bank of Japan governor next week.
    He added that trading may be subdued amid uncertainty over
this weekend's Italian elections, which may call into question
the country's economic reform program.
    "An impact to the Japanese market should be limited from the
Italian election, but if the euro weakens, it would be negative
for Japanese exporters," Nishi said. 
    In Europe, business activity indexes dealt a blow to hopes
the euro zone might emerge from recession soon, showing the
downturn across the region's businesses unexpectedly grew worse
this month. 
    In the United States, a raft of data, from claims for
jobless aid to factory activity and consumer price inflation,
pointed to slow economic growth and supported the argument for
the Federal Reserve to maintain its monetary stimulus.

> Wall St ends lower on growth worries                    
> Euro falls on economic worries; dollar gains broadly  
> U.S. bond prices rise on data, Fed bond purchase view  
> Gold up as data boosts Fed stimulus hope after drop   
> Oil extends sell-off, Brent hits 3-week low below $114 
    STOCKS TO WATCH
    
    --Nissan Motor Co 
    Nissan and Renault SA will invest about 30 billion
yen ($320 million) in a new car assembly plant in India, the
Nikkei said. 
    
    --IHI Corp 
    IHI aims to raise operating profit in its main resources and
energy division fourfold to 20 billion yen in fiscal 2015 from
the current year estimate by expanding sales in Southeast Asia,
the Nikkei said.
A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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