Nikkei set to break above 15,000; Sony likely to surge
TOKYO, May 15 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is expected break above 15,000 and hit fresh 5-1/2 year highs on Wednesday, with Sony Corp likely to surge after a proposal from an activist fund to list its entertainment unit sent its U.S.-listed shares soaring 10 percent. Sentiment is also set to be bolstered by further weakness in the yen and after Wall Street put in a strong performance, continuing a rally driven by monetary stimulus and signs of better economic growth. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 15,065, up 1.8 percent from the close in Osaka of 14,800. Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 14,950 to 15,100 on Wednesday after shedding 0.2 percent to 14,758.42 the previous day. "The Nikkei has gained about 1,000 points this month, so there still is caution over the fast pace of rises in a short period of time," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities. "But strong overseas markets indicate that there is a high chance that the money will flow into the Japanese market." The dollar climbed as high as 102.40 yen on Tuesday, the highest level in 4-1/2 years, and last traded at 102.27. If the index breaks above 15,000, it will be the first time since January 2008. > Wall St jumps as banks lead indexes to new highs > Yen hits 4-1/2-year low vs dollar; euro down for 4th day > Bond prices fall as stocks draw buyers > Gold down on economic optimism, ETF holdings steady > Brent oil prices fall in light trading STOCKS TO WATCH -Sony Corp Billionaire hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb on Tuesday called on Sony to spin off its lucrative entertainment arm, setting the stage for a clash between his activist Wall Street fund and management at the Japanese electronics maker. --Sharp Corp Sharp, a supplier to Apple Inc, will aim to boost sales to the iPhone maker's rival Samsung Electronics Co under a three-year rehabilitation roadmap after posting a worse-than-expected $5.4 billion net loss in the last financial year. --Olympus Corp Olympus will stop making digital cameras at a factory in China's Guangdong Province, withdrawing from low-end products and consolidating manufacturing at two main sites, the Nikkei said.