REFILE-Nikkei rises in choppy trade; eyes on G20 meeting

Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:20pm EDT

* Nikkei back and forth negative territory while eyes on G20
    * Investors still upbeat on Japanese equities
    * Internet-related stocks popular but volatile - traders

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, April 19 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose on Friday
morning in choppy trade after a downward trend in the yen helped
offset negative sentiment on Wall Street, but investors were
looking at a meeting of G-20 nations for firmer direction. 
    The Nikkei share average gained 0.6 percent to
13,300.64 by the midday break, climbing above its 5-day moving
average of 13,280.14 after moving back and forth negative
territory.
    On Thursday, U.S. stocks were dragged down by disappointing
forecasts by companies including eBay, while more soft
data added to worries over the recovery in the world's largest
economy.
    Still, investors remained upbeat about Japanese equities as
the yen slipped against the dollar in a sign that investors
expect little criticism of Japan's massive monetary easing
campaign from the G20 meeting that began on Thursday.
    "Investors are watching if Kuroda's comments are approved by
international peers," said Masaru Hamasaki, senior strategist at
Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.
    Bank Of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda said in Washington on
Thursday that Japan's monetary easing was taken purely for
domestic policy reasons, which is to achieve price stability and
meet the country's 2 percent price target in two years and is
not aimed at weakening the yen. 
    "We've made that clear to markets and policymakers around
the world. I think we've gained broad understanding on that
point," Kuroda said.
    The dollar last traded at 98.55 yen, moving a tad
closer to a four-year high of close to a 100 yen last week.
    "If all goes well with Japan not facing criticism of its
aggressive monetary policy by its international partners, the
yen may weaken further and large-cap stocks may be bought," said
Yoshiyuki Kondo, an analyst at Daiwa Securities. 
    "For the time being there is still uncertainty so it is
difficult to buy large-cap stocks but small shares are being
bought."
    
    INTERNET-RELATED STOCKS GAIN
    He said Internet-related shares such as CyberAgent Inc
 and Colopl Inc were popular with investors.
    Exporters were mixed. Toyota Motor Corp gained 0.4
percent while Honda Motor Co shed 0.5 percent. Sony
Corp rose 1.0 percent and Komatsu Ltd added
2.0 percent.
    The Nikkei has gained over 50 percent since November when
Shinzo Abe, who became prime minister in December, called for
bold fiscal and monetary expansionary policies to revive the
economy and end stubborn deflation. 
    While institutional investors have taken a wait-and-see
approach after the market's surge to a nearly five-year high
last week, "retail investors are finding opportunities in stocks
with  extraordinary growth" such as gaming and Internet-related
sectors, a Tokyo-based trader said.
    But at the same time, such gaming shares tend to be volatile
due to retail investors' margin trade, traders said. Colopl was
down 0.1 percent at the midday break after rising as much as 22
percent during early trade.
    The broader Topix gained 0.1 percent to 1,124.00.
    Analysts said investors have also started focusing on
earnings-related news as Japanese companies begin releasing
their full-year results next week.
    JX Holdings Inc shed 2.3 percent after the Nikkei
newspaper said the petroleum refiner's net profit for the year
ended March 31 appeared to have fallen below the company's
forecast.
    Sharp Corp surged 3.9 percent after the Nikkei
business daily said the consumer electronics maker would supply
energy-saving, high-performance LCD panels for Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd's notebook computers as early as
summer.