(Corrects name of strategist in paragraph 3 to Hiroki, not
TOKYO, March 18 Japan's Nikkei average is
expected to retreat from a 54-month high on Monday on
uncertainty about a proposed bailout for Cyprus, a bounce in the
yen and an end to Wall Street's 10-session rally.
The Nikkei is likely to trade between 12,400 and
12,600, strategists said. Nikkei futures in Chicago <0#NIY:>
closed at 12,395 on Friday, down 0.8 percent from the Osaka
close of 12,490.
"We will have a correction today. In the New York Stock
Exchange, the Dow fell after a 10-day winning steak," said
Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Inc. "The yen is back
to 95 to the dollar. This is bad news for the Japanese market."
The yen rose 0.6 percent on Monday to a one-week high of
94.790 to the dollar after Cyprus agreed on Saturday that
depositors should be taxed up to 10 percent to raise 5.8 billion
euros in return for an international bailout.
The Japanese currency has fallen 18 percent against the
dollar since mid-November after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
embarked on bold fiscal expansionary and monetary easing polices
to pull the economy out of doldrums. During the same time, the
benchmark Nikkei has rallied 45 percent.
However, Hiroki said strong expectations the new Bank of
Japan leaders will unveil aggressive easing measures would limit
the Nikkei's downside.
On Friday, U.S. stocks slipped, ending the Dow Jones
industrial average's longest winning run since 1996 as
investors paused just below the S&P 500's record high.
The Nikkei jumped 1.5 percent to 12,560.95 on Friday to a
4-1/2-year high, while the broader Topix index surged
1.3 percent to 1,051.65.
> Dow retreats from 10-day rally; JPMorgan weighs
> Euro skids, yen jumps as Cyprus deal alarms
> Treasuries rise as consumer sentiment takes a hit
> Gold rises to 2nd weekly gain, action light before Fed
> Oil gains on weaker U.S. dollar
STOCKS TO WATCH
Panasonic is considering selling its healthcare business to
raise cash as the consumer electronics maker fights to end
losses with flat-panel televisions, two sources familiar with
the matter said on Sunday.
Separately, the Nikkei newspaper said Panasonic is leaning
toward withdrawing from plasma television operations as part of
a downsizing of its TV business over a three-year period
starting next fiscal year.
Sony on Friday completed the sale of its U.S. headquarters
for $1.1 billion to a group led by real estate developer the
Chetrit Group, three sources familiar with the deal said.
--TOYOTA MOTOR CORP
Toyota is recalling 310,000 of its FJ Cruiser sports utility
vehicles worldwide because the seatbelt anchor could become
detached through wear, the company said on Friday.
Gildemeister has no concrete plans to merge with
its 20-percent shareholder Mori Seiki for the moment, but such a
deal could be possible in a few years, the German machine tool
maker's chief executive told Reuters.
(Reporting by Dominic Lau; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)