Nikkei set to rise as Abe election win boosts recovery hopes
TOKYO, July 22 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to rebound on Monday after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc and its coalition partner regained control of the upper house in an election, boosting hopes for a sustained economic recovery. Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 14,600 to 14,900 on Monday after falling 1.5 percent to 14,589.91 on Friday. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 14,820, up 1.2 percent from the close in Osaka of 14,650. "Abe's victory was widely expected, but it gives a positive lead to the market as it raises expectations that legislation will pass more easily and he can focus on reviving the economy," said Takuya Takahashi, a strategist at Daiwa Securities. Abe's victory in Sunday's elections means an end of "twisted parliament" in which the opposition controls the upper chamber, allowing him to focus on structural reforms to end stagnation in the world's third-largest economy. Public broadcaster NHK said early on Monday that Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its partner, the New Komeito party, had won at least 74 of the 121 seats up for grabs in the 242-seat upper house. Abe's fiscal expansionary policy, coupled with the Bank of Japan's aggressive monetary stimulus, has pushed the benchmark Nikkei up 40 percent this year, while the yen has fallen 15 percent against the dollar. Analysts said that whether the Nikkei will extend rises stably after the election will depend on whether Abe can implement drastic structural reform. But for Monday, the market may attract buying in most sectors as a drop on Friday served as a correction, the added. "Excessive concern about the overheated market receded thanks to profit-taking on Friday," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities. "Strong buying may be seen in early trade, but the rest of the day will depend on the moves of the yen. If the dollar nears 101 yen, the market will likely hold gains till the close." The dollar last traded at 100.46 yen. > Nasdaq, Dow slip on tech weakness, S&P 500 edges up > Yen rises ahead of Japan vote > U.S. bond prices rise for second week; weak stocks support > Gold up 2nd straight week on Fed stimulus reassurance > US crude oil trades above Brent for first time in 3 years STOCKS TO WATCH --Shiseido Co Shiseido has formed a sales company in India as it looks to broaden its clientele there beyond consumers of luxury cosmetics now sold through sales agents, the Nikkei reported.
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