TOKYO, May 15 Japan's Nikkei share average is
expected break above 15,000 and hit fresh 5-1/2 year highs on
Wednesday, with Sony Corp likely to surge after a
proposal from an activist fund to list its entertainment unit
sent its U.S.-listed shares soaring 10 percent.
Sentiment is also set to be bolstered by further weakness in
the yen and after Wall Street put in a strong performance,
continuing a rally driven by monetary stimulus and signs of
better economic growth.
Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 15,065, up 1.8
percent from the close in Osaka of 14,800.
Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between
14,950 to 15,100 on Wednesday after shedding 0.2 percent to
14,758.42 the previous day.
"The Nikkei has gained about 1,000 points this month, so
there still is caution over the fast pace of rises in a short
period of time," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst
at Mizuho Securities.
"But strong overseas markets indicate that there is a high
chance that the money will flow into the Japanese market."
The dollar climbed as high as 102.40 yen on Tuesday,
the highest level in 4-1/2 years, and last traded at 102.27.
If the index breaks above 15,000, it will be the first time
since January 2008.
> Wall St jumps as banks lead indexes to new highs
> Yen hits 4-1/2-year low vs dollar; euro down for 4th day
> Bond prices fall as stocks draw buyers
> Gold down on economic optimism, ETF holdings steady
> Brent oil prices fall in light trading
STOCKS TO WATCH
Billionaire hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb on Tuesday
called on Sony to spin off its lucrative entertainment arm,
setting the stage for a clash between his activist Wall Street
fund and management at the Japanese electronics maker.
Sharp, a supplier to Apple Inc, will aim to boost
sales to the iPhone maker's rival Samsung Electronics Co
under a three-year rehabilitation roadmap after
posting a worse-than-expected $5.4 billion net loss in the last
Olympus will stop making digital cameras at a factory in
China's Guangdong Province, withdrawing from low-end products
and consolidating manufacturing at two main sites, the Nikkei