Nikkei set to rise on weaker yen; Tokyo elections to also support

TOKYO Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:56pm EDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is seen edging up on Monday on the back of a weaker yen and after Japan's ruling party won a sweeping election victory in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly elections on Sunday.

Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 13,100 to 13,400 on Monday.

On Friday, Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 13,340, down 0.2 percent from the close in Osaka. U.S. stocks ended mostly higher on the day, with the Dow and S&P 500 ending two days of heavy losses.

The yen weakened against the dollar over the weekend after the Federal Reserve laid out its plans on Wednesday to begin scaling back its economic stimulus efforts.

The pair last traded at 98.40 yen, the lowest level for the yen since June 11, according to EBS data.

"While the election results were not surprising at all, it is also a positive for the market. It provides investors with a sense of reassurance," said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management.

The benchmark Nikkei rose 215.55 points to 13,230.13 on Friday after falling as low as 12,702.67 in morning trade on Fed stimulus worries, while the broader Topix .TOPX added 0.7 percent to 1,099.40.

> Wall Street ends slightly up but slumps for the week .N > U.S. dollar on track for best week in nearly a year <FRX/> > More losses mark miserable week for U.S. bond market <US/> > Gold up, but drop for week is biggest since Sept 2011 <GOL/> > Oil falls, notches biggest 2-day drop since September <O/R>

STOCKS TO WATCH

--MITSUBISHI UFJ FINANCIAL GROUP(MUFG) (8306.T)

MUFG, Japan's largest-lender by assets, is in advanced talks to acquire a majority stake in Bank of Ayudhya Pcl (BAY.BK), Thailand's fifth-largest lender, in a deal worth over $4 billion, sources familiar with the matter said on Saturday, marking a major turn in protracted negotiations complicated by Thai regulations.

--SOFTBANK CORP (9984.T)

Japanese mobile network operator SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said on Friday he was confident his company's acquisition of Sprint Nextel Corp (S.N) will be completed in early July after rival bidder Dish Network Corp (DISH.O) bowed out.

(Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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