CORRECTED-Nikkei set to fall on Cyprus bailout concerns, bounce in yen
(Corrects name of strategist in paragraph 3 to Hiroki, not Hiroshi) TOKYO, March 18 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average is expected to retreat from a 54-month high on Monday on uncertainty about a proposed bailout for Cyprus, a bounce in the yen and an end to Wall Street's 10-session rally. The Nikkei is likely to trade between 12,400 and 12,600, strategists said. Nikkei futures in Chicago <0#NIY:> closed at 12,395 on Friday, down 0.8 percent from the Osaka close of 12,490. "We will have a correction today. In the New York Stock Exchange, the Dow fell after a 10-day winning steak," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Inc. "The yen is back to 95 to the dollar. This is bad news for the Japanese market." The yen rose 0.6 percent on Monday to a one-week high of 94.790 to the dollar after Cyprus agreed on Saturday that depositors should be taxed up to 10 percent to raise 5.8 billion euros in return for an international bailout. The Japanese currency has fallen 18 percent against the dollar since mid-November after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe embarked on bold fiscal expansionary and monetary easing polices to pull the economy out of doldrums. During the same time, the benchmark Nikkei has rallied 45 percent. However, Hiroki said strong expectations the new Bank of Japan leaders will unveil aggressive easing measures would limit the Nikkei's downside. On Friday, U.S. stocks slipped, ending the Dow Jones industrial average's longest winning run since 1996 as investors paused just below the S&P 500's record high. The Nikkei jumped 1.5 percent to 12,560.95 on Friday to a 4-1/2-year high, while the broader Topix index surged 1.3 percent to 1,051.65. > Dow retreats from 10-day rally; JPMorgan weighs > Euro skids, yen jumps as Cyprus deal alarms > Treasuries rise as consumer sentiment takes a hit > Gold rises to 2nd weekly gain, action light before Fed > Oil gains on weaker U.S. dollar STOCKS TO WATCH --PANASONIC CORP Panasonic is considering selling its healthcare business to raise cash as the consumer electronics maker fights to end losses with flat-panel televisions, two sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday. Separately, the Nikkei newspaper said Panasonic is leaning toward withdrawing from plasma television operations as part of a downsizing of its TV business over a three-year period starting next fiscal year. --SONY CORP Sony on Friday completed the sale of its U.S. headquarters for $1.1 billion to a group led by real estate developer the Chetrit Group, three sources familiar with the deal said. --TOYOTA MOTOR CORP Toyota is recalling 310,000 of its FJ Cruiser sports utility vehicles worldwide because the seatbelt anchor could become detached through wear, the company said on Friday. --MORI SEIKI Gildemeister has no concrete plans to merge with its 20-percent shareholder Mori Seiki for the moment, but such a deal could be possible in a few years, the German machine tool maker's chief executive told Reuters. (Reporting by Dominic Lau; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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