Nikkei set to fall after Wall St extends losses; subdued trade seen
TOKYO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to open lower on Tuesday, tracking another weak showing on Wall Street, with the absence of positive catalysts set to keep investors sidelined for much of the day. The benchmark Nikkei was likely to trade between 13,500 and 13,700, strategists said, while Nikkei futures in Chicago on Monday closed at 13,580, down 1.4 percent from the Osaka close of 13,770. "Although I expect the Nikkei to slip today, I don't think the market mood has turned sour at all," said Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex Inc. "It's just that most investors are reluctant to trade, but I would say, that's not because of summer vacation. They are waiting for a clear market direction to emerge, which I believe may take some time." The yen was last quoted at 97.65 yen to the dollar, little changed from Monday but moving away from a seven-week high around 95.81 yen touched earlier this month. A weaker yen sharpens Japanese exporters' competitive edge in global markets and boosts their dollar earnings when repatriated. U.S. stocks lost ground on Monday, with each of the major indices falling for a fourth straight session, as investors were hesitant to make new bets ahead of an expected shift in Federal Reserve policy that could lead to higher interest rates. The Nikkei rebounded 0.8 percent on Monday to 13,758.13, but failed to break above the five-day moving average at 13,815.67. The broader Topix gained 0.6 percent to 1,149.13. The benchmark Nikkei is still up 32 percent this year, spurred by the government's expansionary fiscal policy and the Bank of Japan's aggressive monetary stimulus. > Wall St falls for 4th straight session as Fed in focus > Euro rises on Bundesbank report; Fed minutes eyed > Yield reach 2-year highs as tapering seen near > Gold falls on worries over Fed stimulus curb > Brent oil hit by profit-taking, supported by Egypt STOCKS TO WATCH --NIPPON PAPER INDUSTRIES CO LTD Nippon Paper will begin retail sales of electricity to companies and municipalities in fiscal 2014, making a full entry into the power business, the Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday.