Nikkei may open lower but positive global sentiment seen underpinning
TOKYO, July 10 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average may open lower on Wednesday after speculative trade drove it higher in the previous session, but underlying positive sentiment from Wall Street's gains and a weak yen could yet again propel the market higher later in the day. Market players said the benchmark Nikkei was likely to trade between 14,300 to 14,600 on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Nikkei jumped 2.6 percent to 14,472.90, the highest closing level since May 24, while the broader Topix index gained 2.1 percent to 1,196.89. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 14,415 on Tuesday, down 0.3 percent from the close in Osaka of 14,460. "The market would see the gains in U.S. stocks and the continued weak yen trend as positive," said Kenichi Hirano, a strategist at Tachibana Securities. "But I think the Nikkei could open lower as yesterday's last-minute gains in the index were driven by speculative trades." The Japanese market has recently seen volatile trading as investors fretted about slowing growth in China and the prospect of the U.S. Federal Reserve rolling back its stimulus later this year. A credit squeeze in China's money markets and a string of data underscoring a slowing down in the world's second largest economy have also dented investor sentiment. Still, strong U.S. data has supported a global market rally in recent days, which has benefited Japanese equities. U.S. stocks rose for the fourth session in a row on Tuesday as investors bet that companies will be able to surpass the low bar set for earnings season. The yen was quoted at 101.17 to the dollar in early Asian trade on Wednesday, according to EBS data. > Wall St rises for 4th day on earnings hope, FedEx jumps > U.S. dollar rallies on contrasting central bank views > U.S. bond prices end little changed > Gold rises 1 pct on physical buying, China inflation > Oil prices end moderately higher, stifled by dollar STOCKS TO WATCH -AEON CO LTD Supermarket chain operator Aeon on Tuesday reported a record operating profit of 34.7 billion yen ($343 million) for the first quarter ended May 31, helped by solid financial and supermarket businesses. -TORAY INDUSTRIES LTD The Nikkei newspaper said the carbon fibre maker's operating profit is expected to rise roughly 10 percent on the year to about 19 billion yen for the quarter ended June 30, thanks in part to higher sales in its main textile business. -TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER CO (TEPCO) Japan may restart several reactors shut down by the Fukushima nuclear crisis in about a year, a senior regulator said in an interview on Tuesday, a day after new safety rules went into effect designed to avoid a repeart of the disaster. Separately, TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima station, said that an observation well between the damaged reactor No. 2 and the sea showed levels of radioactive caesium-134 were 90 times higher on Monday than they had been the previous Friday.