Nikkei edges up in choppy trade; Fed's decision awaited

Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:01pm EDT

* Futures settlement at 14,323.29 can serve as support -
trader
    * Sharp extends decline on dilution concern

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
edged up in choppy trade on Friday morning as many investors
awaited next week's key U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting.   
    The Nikkei rose 0.2 percent to 14,414.91 in
mid-morning trade, still down 1 percent from a seven-week high
of 14,561.46 hit earlier this week.
    The September Nikkei futures and options settled at the
market open on Friday at 14,323.29, according to traders who
compiled the data.
    The settlement price, which was lower than the current
Nikkei price, will likely serve as a short-term support to the
market, traders said.
    "If the index nears that level, the market will likely see
investors buying on the dips," said a fund manager at a Japanese
asset management firm.
    The Topix was flat at 1,184.81.
    Exporters were mixed, with Toyota Motor Corp adding
0.2 percent, Toshiba Corp falling 0.7 percent and Sony
Corp gaining 0.1 percent. The dollar wobbled around
99.50, staying below a seven-week peak of 100.62.
    Sharp Corp dropped another 4.4 percent. It fell 6.0
percent on Thursday, when sources told Reuters the company plans
to raise as much as 150 billion yen ($1.5 billion) through a
public share offering.
    Traders said the question is whether the Federal Reserve
will begin to scale back its $85 billion monthly stimulus at its
Sept. 17-18 meeting and by how much.
    "The market has priced in the possibility that the Fed will
start tapering soon so it should not be negative to the market
unless the Fed blurs the schedule and the size of tapering,"
said Tomochika Kitaoka, a strategist at Mizuho Securities.
     "If the Fed leaves the market with uncertainty again, it
could trigger a rise in the U.S. yield and a drop in the stock
market," he said.
    The Nikkei is down 10 percent from its May peak, but has
still gained 39 percent this year.
A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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