Nikkei flat despite positive overseas data; futures selling weighs
* Nikkei flat, Topix up 0.2 pct * Securities companies in demand * New catalysts needed to send Nikkei past 14,000 - fund manager By Tomo Uetake TOKYO, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average edged down on Wednesday morning as futures selling erased early-session gains triggered by positive economic data from Europe and the United States and a weaker yen. The benchmark Nikkei was flat at 13,860.81 by the midday break, after rising near a one-week high of 13,968.74. The broader Topix added 0.2 percent to 1,159.67. "The market has welcomed a series of positive overseas data, which dragged the yen lower (against the dollar). Today's performance doesn't appear to be good but that's because it gained a lot yesterday," said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management. On Tuesday, the index climbed 2.6 percent, rebounding from a 6-1/2-week low hit early this week. Rising U.S. retail sales in July, combined with a stronger ZEW German sentiment index and improved euro zone industrial production, painted a rosier picture of the global economy. "Futures selling kicked in after the Nikkei failed to break the psychologically important 14,000-mark. Now, investors are reluctant to chase the market higher," said Yuya Tsuchida, a strategist at Toyo Securities. Ichiyoshi's Akino pointed out that new drivers will be needed to send the Nikkei past the 14,000-mark. Recently underperforming brokerages were in demand on Wednesday, with the securities sub-index the best- performing sector with a gain of 1.7 percent, while top brokerage Nomura Holdings rising 2.2 percent. Other notable movers included Aiful Corp, which tumbled 6.4 percent and was the fourth most-traded stock by turnover on the main board, after the consumer financing company's operating profit dropped 22 percent in the first quarter ended June 30. The yen last traded at 98.115 yen to the dollar, moving away from a seven-week high of 95.810 touched last Thursday, after the U.S. posted strong growth in retail sales. A weaker yen sharpens Japanese exporters' competitive edge in global markets and boosts their dollar earnings when repatriated. The benchmark Nikkei has risen 33 percent this year, while the yen has fallen 13 percent versus the dollar, driven largely by the Japanese government's aggressive stimulus policies.
- Washington, DC city council raises minimum wage to $11.50/hr in 2016
- Winning ticket sold in California for Mega Millions lottery: official
- UPDATE 5-Mega Millions lottery winning tickets sold in California, Georgia -Officials
- India removes barriers to U.S. embassy as anger grows over diplomat's arrest
- U.N. told up to 500 killed in South Sudan clashes: diplomats