Nikkei rises, led by Olympics-related and consumer loan shares
* Real estate, construction higher on Olympics hopes * Consumer loan firms up on outstanding loan report * Trading seen subdued as market awaits U.S. jobs data By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Sept 2 (Reuters) - The Nikkei average rose on Monday morning as real estate and construction stocks gained on hopes that Tokyo will win the race to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, while consumer finance shares climbed after a media report citing rising loan demand. The Nikkei was up 0.8 percent at 13,490.75 in mid-morning trade after dropping 0.5 percent to 13,388.86 on Friday. The Topix index added 0.7 percent to 1,113.84. Analysts said trading was likely to stay subdued, with U.S. markets closed for the Labor Day holiday and investors awaiting key events including U.S. payrolls data later in the week and the outcome of the Olympics bidding. "Institutional investors are staying on the sidelines and will stay that way until there is more clarity on the Fed's tapering," said Kyoya Okazawa, head of global equities at BNP Paribas. "Retail investors are active today picking up Olympics-related stocks like Mitsui Fudosan, which is a leading developer in the Tokyo Bay area." Tokyo is competing against Istanbul and Madrid in the race to host the Games, and a decision is expected on Sept. 7. Retail investors are speculating that real estate firms and construction makers will benefit from redevelopment demand if Tokyo wins the bidding, Okazawa said. The real estate sector rose 2.1 percent and was the second-biggest sectoral gainer. Mitsui Fudosan Co rose 1.8 percent and Sumitomo Realty & Development Co added 2.5 percent. The construction sector added 1.8 percent, with Kajima Corp gaining 3.1 percent and Taisei Corp rising 2.2 percent. Consumer finance stocks soared after the Nikkei business daily said credit card usage and cash borrowing increased in the April-June quarter as consumer sentiment recovered. Aiful Corp jumped 5.2 percent and Acom Co surged 7.4 percent. "Hedge funds are covering their short positions aggressively," said a fund manager at a Japanese asset management firm. "Companies like Aiful had been shorted heavily as their share prices could not be justified with valuations." Analysts also said the Nikkei's gains were likely to be limited this week as investors closely monitor developments in emerging markets, which were hit by worries that more capital will flow out of the region if the U.S. Federal Reserve begins scaling back its stimulus. The Nikkei is up 30 percent this year, but is down 15 percent since its May peak.
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