Nikkei set to rise on upbeat US data; Syria concerns abate
TOKYO, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is set to rise for a second day on Friday as upbeat U.S. data propped up Wall Street overnight, while geopolitical tensions are likely to ease as doubts emerge over an imminent U.S.-led military strike on Syria. Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 13,450 and 13,650 after rising 0.9 percent to 13,459.71 on Thursday. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 13,525, up 0.5 percent from the close in Osaka of 13,460. On Thursday, a U.S. government report showed the nation's economy accelerated more quickly than expected in the second quarter because of a surge in exports, bolstering the case for the Federal Reserve to wind down its massive stimulus program. Analysts said investors may chase the market higher in early trade, although profit-taking is possible by the closing bell ahead of a holiday weekend in the United States. "The index may rise above 13,500 in early trade as people are upbeat about the recovering U.S. economy, but at the same time, investors continue to monitor emerging market moves later," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities. "Also, fears about Syria may have abated, but uncertainty over possible military action against Syria in the mid-term will likely keep trading thin." U.S. officials conceded on Thursday they lacked conclusive evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad personally ordered last week's poison gas attack, and some allies have warned that military action without U.N. Security Council authorization risks making the situation worse. > Wall St rises on economy, but Syria concerns limit gains > Dollar hits 3-week high as U.S. data spurs Fed taper talk > Prices gain as investors eye month-end, long weekend > Gold falls after 5-day rise as Syria attack fears ease > Oil slides as Syria action timeline pushed back STOCKS TO WATCH --Mitsubishi Motors Corp Mitsubishi Motors said Thursday that it will cease production of commercial minivehicles in fiscal 2013 and focus resources on passenger minicars and electric vehicles. --Denso Corp Denso is considering investing in Sharp Corp as a way to strengthen its partnership with the electronics firm, the Nikkei said, citing an interview with the president of the autoparts maker, Nobuaki Katoh.