Nikkei set to fall on weak global markets; Apple-linked shares may falter
TOKYO, April 18 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to open lower on Thursday as buyers are likely to be sidelined by weak global equity markets and worries about global growth. Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 13,200 to 13,350 after rising 1.2 percent to 13,382.89 on Wednesday. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 13,270, down 1.0 percent from the close in Osaka of 13,400. Overnight, European shares fell to their lowest levels so far this year on fresh concerns over the global economy. Wall Street was hit by financials and a sharp drop in Apple Inc shares on worries about slowing demand for its products, which may trigger selling in Apple-related stocks in Japan such as Sharp Corp, Murata Manufacturing Co and Ibiden Co, market players said. Investors are also likely to keep an eye on the weekend meeting of officials from the Group of 20 nations. While Japan isn't expected to face criticism for its aggressive monetary expansion campaign that has weakened the yen, analysts said that investors remain wary. "Whether international leaders will agree that Japan's push to reflate the economy with bold monetary policy will benefit other countries is in focus," said Kenichi Hirano, a strategist at Tachibana Securities. "The market will probably stay nervous until the outcome." He added that the Nikkei's short-term resistance level is seen at its 5-day moving average of 13,382.86. The Nikkei has gained over 50 percent since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for sweeping fiscal and monetary expansionary policies in November, sending the yen to four-year lows of close to 100 to the dollar. > Drop in Apple shares, weak profits drag Wall St lower > Euro down on ECB rate cut talk; yen dips before G20 > Prices rise as stock slump spurs safety bid > Gold up on physical buying but seen vulnerable > Brent crude falls for 6th day as demand worries persist STOCKS TO WATCH --KDDI Corp KDDI's au mobile phone service is experiencing prolonged communication troubles, with up to 2.88 million devices unable to send or receive e-mail Tuesday and up to 1.27 million affected Wednesday, the Nikkei reported. --Nomura Holdings Italian prosecutors took steps in Germany and Britain on Wednesday to carry out the seizure of up to 1.95 billion euros ($2.6 billion) of assets from Nomura, which they say is needed to halt further losses from Italy's Monte dei Paschi bank.
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