Nikkei set to edge down, weakness in euro to weigh

Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:35pm EDT

TOKYO, March 28 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is
expected to edge down on Thursday, hurt by weakness in the euro
due to concerns about Italy's funding costs and the rescue deal
for Cyprus.
    But hopes for bold monetary easing in Japan are expected to
provide a firm floor for the market.
    Exporters with high exposure to the euro zone such as Mazda
Motor Co and Nikon Corp may underperform after
political uncertainty in Italy drove its borrowing costs to
five-month highs. 
    Players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 12,400
to 12,550 on Thursday. It ended slightly higher at 12,493.79 the
previous day but is 1.2 percent below a 4-1/2 year high struck
last Thursday.
    Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 12,490, down
0.2 percent from the close in Osaka 12,520.
    "We have major events to look forward to next week (in
Japan), so investors may not build large positions this week,
and worries about Europe are souring the mood," said Kenichi
Hirano, a strategist at Tachibana Securities.
    Next week, the Bank Of Japan's tankan survey is scheduled to
be released on Monday while the central bank's first policy
meeting under its new leadership will be held April 3-4.
    Sources told Reuters the BOJ is likely to start open-ended
asset purchases immediately, rather than in 2014, and consider
setting a new target to buy longer-dated bonds at its rate
review next week. 
     
> Wall St ends flat on late buying, Cyprus woes linger     
> Euro sinks to 4-mth low vs dollar on Cyprus, Italy woes 
> Yields lowest in three weeks on euro zone safety bid    
> Gold edges up on euro zone fears, Fed stimulus hopes   
> Oil higher but rising crude inventories limit gains     
    STOCKS TO WATCH
    --Nissan Motor Co 
    Political friction between China and Japan has delayed by
one year a Nissan plan to gain 10 percent market share in China,
Renault-Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn told Reuters Insider
on the sidelines of the New York auto show on Wednesday.
 
    
    --Nomura Holdings 
    Italy's financial police searched the Milan offices of
Nomura on Wednesday as part of an investigation into Italian
lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena, judicial sources
said. 
    
    --Toyota Motor Corp 
    Toyota will start selling vehicles in 2015 under its new
plan to ramp up the use of shared parts as it catches up with
rival Volkswagen, which pioneered the strategy.
 
 
    --Mitsubishi Motors Corp, GS Yuasa Corp,
Mitsubishi Corp 
    A lithium-ion battery on a single Mitsubishi Motors 
Outlander plug-in hybrid overheated last week, the Japanese
carmaker said on Wednesday, as the technology faces scrutiny
following failures on Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner jets.
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