Nikkei rises to one-week high on Fed hopes; Softbank soars

Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:49pm EDT

* Investors still cautious ahead of Fed
    * Softbank soars after Dish abandons Sprint bid

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, June 19 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose
to a one-week high on Wednesday, helped by optimism that the
U.S. Federal Reserve would temper worries about an imminent roll
back of its stimulus programme.
    The market also got a boost from Softbank Corp,
which soared after Dish Network Corp said it would
abandon a bid for Sprint Nextel.
    Exporters rose as the dollar stayed above 95 yen, with
Toyota Motor Corp advancing 1.2 percent, Honda Motor Co
 adding 2.0 percent and Panasonic Corp tacking
on 1.0 percent.
    Softbank, which is trying to buy U.S. wireless provider
Sprint, soared 5.3 percent and was the most traded stock by
turnover after Dish Network said it would not make a new offer
to buy Sprint and will instead focus on its tender offer for
Clearwire Corp. 
    The Nikkei rose 1.9 percent to 13,247.81 in
midmorning trade after rising to a one-week high of 13,296.62.
    "Speculations about the Fed's decision are still keeping
investors on the sidelines, so volume may be low. But Wall
Street's optimistic stance on the Fed outcome is serving as a
tailwind to Japanese stocks," said Yutaka Miura, a senior
technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.
    Investors are looking to the Fed to clarify the outlook on
its massive stimulus programme when it ends its two-day policy
meeting on Wednesday. Global markets have been roiled since Fed
Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested last month that the stimulus
could be reduced in coming months if the economy continued to
recover.
     The Topix gained 2.0 percent to 1,107.66.
    With some technical signs showing that Japanese stocks are
oversold, investors scooped up bargains. But market players said
that investors may not want to take big positions until there is
more clarity on the Fed's outlook for its stimulus.
    "It's merely a technical rebound," said Mitsushige Akino,
chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management. He said that
with the market still vulnerable to selling, "most investors
want to see the outcome before they take long positions."
    The Japanese market has seen extreme volatility accompanied
by steep declines over the past few weeks as investors cut their
long Japanese equities and short yen positions on worries of
reduced stimulus from the Fed.
    Disappointment over an underwhelming package of structural
reforms unveiled by the Japanese government recently and worries
over slowing growth in China also contributed to the market
tumult.
    The benchmark Nikkei, which slumped into bear market
territory last week, has fallen 16.9 percent since reaching the 
mulityear high on May 23. It is still up 7.3 percent since April
4, when the Bank of Japan unveiled sweeping stimulus measures
and has risen 28 percent this year.