Nikkei likely to edge up on Wall Street gains; ex-dividend eyed

Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:49pm EDT

TOKYO, March 27 (Reuters) - The Nikkei share average is
expected to edge higher on Wednesday after Wall Street gained on
positive U.S. economic data and as expectations for monetary
easing by Japan's central bank buoy sentiment, but gains may be
capped because of stocks going ex-dividend.
    With many Tokyo stocks going ex-dividend - after Tuesday was
the deadline for investors to buy shares and be eligible to
receive dividends for the current financial year - traders said
the effect of the resulting adjustment to prices would take
about 90 points off the Nikkei and about 9 points off the Topix.
    Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between
12,400 and 12,550 on Wednesday, after ending down 0.6 percent at
12,471.62 the previous day. The Nikkei now stands below its
five-day moving average of 12,492.11.
    Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 12,370, up 0.8
percent from the close in Osaka of 12,470.
    "If you take ex-dividend price declines into account,
overall gains will likely be limited at the end of the day,"
said Toshihiko Matsuno, a senior strategist at SMBC Friend
Securities. He added that the market remained nervous about the
euro zone's debt problems due to the negative implications of a
rescue plan for Cyprus.
    "In terms of global market news, there is a mix of both
positives and negatives, so most investors may stay on the
sidelines for now," Matsuno said.
    On Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average climbed
to another record close and the S&P 500 came within striking
distance of its all-time closing high, as strong data on home
prices and manufacturing fed optimism about the economy.
    The benchmark Nikkei has rallied 44 percent since
mid-November, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe started calling for
bold monetary easing and expansionary fiscal policy to revive
the economy.
    Now that the market expects positive news related to easing
measures at the Bank Of Japan's April 3-4 policy meeting under
its new leadership team, sentiment will likely remain upbeat
this week.
    "Big gains may not be seen until new developments become
clearer, but expectations for the BOJ's new leadership support
investors' risk appetite for Japan stocks," said Hiroichi Nishi,
an assistant general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities.

> Data lifts Dow to a record, S&P near record close      
> Euro near 4-mth low vs dollar; Cyprus concerns linger 
> Treasuries prices gain as Cyprus fears remain         
> Gold falls for 3rd day on euro calm, bright US data  
> Oil up on strong US data                              
    STOCKS TO WATCH
    -Aeon Co, Daiei Inc 
    Aeon will raise its stake in Daiei to more than 40 percent
through a tender offer to become the supermarket operator's top
shareholder after acquiring 24 percent from Marubeni Corp
, sources told Reuters.
    
    -Sharp Corp 
    Talks on an alliance between Sharp and Hon Hai Precision
Industry will continue even though a deadline for a
deal between the two lapsed on Tuesday. 
    Hon Hai said it remained committed to buy a 9.9 percent
stake in Sharp, which would make the Taiwanese company the
largest shareholder in the Japanese TV maker.
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