Nikkei edges up on Wall St rise, Fed rate views; Rakuten shines

Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:05pm EDT

* Nikkei's 25-day moving average tops 15,000 for first time
since Feb
    * Rakuten soars on report it is entering low-cost carries
business

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, June 26 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
crawled back up from a one-week low on Thursday, and Rakuten Inc
 soared on a report it is preparing to enter the
low-cost carrier business.
    The Nikkei edged up 0.2 percent to 15,292.48 in
mid-morning trade, helped by a better performance on Wall Street
as investors focused on the U.S. Federal Reserve keeping rates
low for longer after a shockingly weak U.S. first quarter GDP
report. 
    The benchmark, which has risen around 6 percent in the past
month, dropped 0.7 percent to 15,266.61 on Wednesday - the
lowest closing level since June 18. 
    The Nikkei's 25-day moving average has just risen above
15,000 for the first time since February. The gap between the
current Nikkei level and the moving average is narrowing.
    "The market remains cautious about the recent rallies so it
is waiting for the market to cool down a bit more," said Hikaru
Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.
    Sato expects the Nikkei to gradually rise towards 16,000
spurred on expectations earnings for the April-June quarter will
improve, and on hopes the government's growth strategy will
begin to gain traction. 
    The recent rally in the market was driven by the Fed's
commitment to keeping policy loose for an extended period,
improved global data and hopes Japan's growth strategy will
boost long-term growth.
    E-commerce firm Rakuten surged 3.9 percent after Toyo Keizai
reported on its web site that it is preparing to enter the
low-cost carrier business in Japan as early as July with
Malaysia's AirAsia Bhd. 
    However, Rakuten said in a statement that the report was not
based on the company's announcement, adding it has nothing
further to say on the issue at this stage.
    Index heavy stocks were higher, with SoftBank Corp 
rising 0.7 percent and Fast Retailing Co advancing 0.3
percent.
    Exporters were also attracting buyers. Panasonic Corp
 rose 0.7 percent and Honda Motor Co added 0.3
percent. 
    The broader Topix added 0.2 percent to 1,263.78,
while the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.2
percent to 11,494.50.
    

 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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