Nikkei seen rebounding as China seeks to allay credit crunch fears
TOKYO, April 26 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is set to bounce on Wednesday after China took steps to allay fears of a credit crunch, while sentiment also got a boost from robust U.S. data and gains on Wall Street overnight. Market players said the benchmark Nikkei was likely to trade between 13,000 to 13,300 on Wednesday. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 13,170, up 1.8 percent from the close in Osaka of 12,940. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) said on Tuesday that it had given cash to some institutions facing temporary shortages and would continue to do so if needed, in a bid to further assure markets. Fears that the world's second largest economy was sliding towards a liquidity crisis sent the Tokyo market down on Monday and Tuesday. "Although no one is sure whether the crisis is manageable by the Chinese authorities, PBOC's announcement is expected to soothe the markets, at least for now," said Masayuki Doshida, senior market analyst at Rakuten Securities. "Investors' risk-averse stance will be eased as long as the Chinese market stabilizes." U.S. stocks rose by the most in nearly two weeks on Tuesday after data showed business investment and the housing recovery continued apace, reassuring investors worried about the Federal Reserve's plans to reduce its massive monetary stimulus. The Nikkei shed 0.7 percent on Tuesday to close at 12,969.34 as fears about stresses in China's banking system added to concerns over the Fed's stimulus plans. The broader Topix dropped 1.0 percent to 1,078.66. The benchmark Nikkei has dropped 19 percent since reaching a 5-1/2-year high on May 23, hurt by slowing growth in China, fears of a pullback in the Fed's stimulus and disappointment over the Japanese government's recently unveiled growth strategy. The index is still up 25 percent this year, helped by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's sweeping fiscal and monetary expansionary policies aimed at pulling the world's third-biggest economy out of a two-decade long slump. > Wall Street rises on robust U.S. data after recent slide > Dollar rises for 5th straight session on data, Fed view > Yields rise before five-year note sale > Gold slips as robust data boosts dollar > Oil ends flat in thin trade, Brent/WTI spread narrows STOCKS TO WATCH --SOFTBANK CORP Shareholders of Sprint Nextel Corp voted on Tuesday in favour of a sweetened takeover offer from SoftBank, ending a contentious takeover battle for the No. 3 U.S. wireless service provider. Japan's SoftBank, which fought Dish Network Corp to buy Sprint, now just needs approval from the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. telecommunications regulator, to close the deal. --EISAI CO LTD Japanese drugmaker Eisai is to stop selling its new epilepsy therapy Fycompa in Germany - the biggest market for the product - following a row over the price it can charge for the drug. --TOSHIBA CORP Toshiba Corp may expand its NAND flash memory chip capacity just one year after oversupply and a slump in prices prompted Japan's leading chipmaker to slash production by 30 percent.
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