Nikkei flat after rally, lingering Fed optimism supports

Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:05pm EDT

* Market cautious over overbought signs in Japanese shares
    * Underlying mood still positive on lingering Fed optimism -
analysts
    * Sumitomo Precision soars on report to develop shale gas
equipment

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, June 20 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average was
flat in choppy trade on Friday as investors booked profits from
the previous day's rally, but the mood remained upbeat on
lingering optimism the U.S. Federal Reserve will keep interest
rates low for some time to come. 
    The Nikkei was flat at 15,360.63 in mid-morning
trade after opening lower and flirting with positive territory.
The index jumped 1.6 percent to a 4-1/2-month high of 15,361.16
on Thursday after the Fed expressed confidence about the U.S.
economic recovery and re-committed to its super-loose policy.
    Analysts expect the underlying mood to remain positive for
now.
    "The good mood is still lingering," said Kyoya Okazawa, head
of global equities at BNP Paribas. "Not just foreign investors
but also long-term domestic investors like pension funds have
been buying as well." 
    Over the short term, however, investors will be cautious
about building up positions as there are signs the market is
overbought, he said.
    The Nikkei is trading nearly 4 percent above its 25-day
moving average of 14,814.11.
    The Japanese economy is also facing a period of uncertainty
after a sales tax hike in April, especially with exports staying
soft at a time when consumption is being crimped. 
    On the day, exporters were mixed, with Toyota Motor Corp
 rising 0.4 percent, Advantest Corp shedding
0.3 percent and Canon Inc falling 0.2 percent.
    Bucking the trend, Sumitomo Precision Products Co 
jumped 3.5 percent after the Nikkei business daily reported that
the company plans to develop equipment for shale gas exploration
and aims to boost sales of the shale gas business by 60 percent
to more than 20 billion yen in three years.
    The broader Topix rose 0.1 percent to 1,269.91,
while the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was flat at
11,553.57.

 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)