TOKYO, Aug 19 The Nikkei stock average could
fall some 2 percent for its third day of declines on Friday hit
by recession fears in the United States and new worries about
the health of European banks.
Nikkei futures in Chicago 2NKc1 ended at 8,760, down 2
percent or 180 points from their Osaka JNIc1 close of 8,940.
Analysts said the Nikkei is expected to trade between
8,700-8,850 on Friday, adding that the index is likely to find
support at 8,656, a low posted on August 9 when the market
tumbled on U.S. debt woes.
Falls in banking shares as well as exporters are expected to
drag down the market.
On Thursday, factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic
region slumped to a nearly 2-1/2 year low in August and home
resales unexpectedly dropped last month, dampening hopes for a
quick revival in economic growth. [IDnN1E77H0E8]
Other data on Thursday also added concerns about the U.S.
economy, with the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's business
activity index plummeting to minus 30.7 in August.
"Investors have been spooked by these data. They are now
focusing on next week's data such as U.S. GDP," said Yumi
Nishimura, a senior market analyst at Daiwa Securities.
"Retail investors may buy defensive stocks on dips, but such
buying may not have an impact on the overall index."
Analysts added that investors are focusing on whether Fed
Chairman Ben Bernanke will drop any hints about further monetary
easing measures when he speaks at a regional event in Jackson
Hole, Wyoming, next week.
The benchmark Nikkei fell 1.3 percent to 8,943.76 on
Thursday. The broader Topix index shed 1.2 percent to
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2245 GMT ------------
INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG
S&P 500 1140.65 -4.46% -53.240
USD/JPY 76.56 0.09% 0.070
10-YR US TSY YLD 2.0676 -- -0.099
SPOT GOLD 1822.89 -0.05% -0.960
US CRUDE CLc1 81.54 -1.02% -0.850
DOW JONES 10990.58 -3.68% -419.63
> Beaten-down Wall St slammed by recession fears
> Dollar, yen up with U.S. recession fears at forefront
> Bonds rally as economy, eurozone fears spur bid
> Gold surges 2 pct to record on economic fears
> Brent oil drops nearly $4 as recession fears grow
STOCKS TO WATCH
--Mizuho Securities Co.
Mizuho Securities plans to form a fund targeting privately
held Chinese businesses through a tie-up with a local firm, the
Nikkei busines daily said.
Shimamura will expand its nationwide clothing store network
by opening smaller stores in urban areas focusing on women's
fashions, the Nikkei business daily said.
Nippon Yusen's cruise ship business is expected to suffer a
4.4 billion yen pretax loss for the year ending next March, its
third straight year in the red, rocked by the March earthquake
and a slowdown in the North American economy, the Nikkei said.
--Tokyo Electric Power Co , KDDI
Tepco plans to unload its 8 percent stake in
telecommunications giant KDDI, a government panel overseeing the
company's restructuring said Thursday.
(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)