TOKYO, Feb 14 The Nikkei share average is set to
rise on Thursday, with the Bank of Japan's widely-expected
decision to leave policy unchanged potentially soothing
international tensions over Japan's aggressive monetary easing
that's driven the yen lower.
Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between
11,250 to 11,400 on Thursday, with exporters rebounding from
weakness in the previous session, when the yen rebounded after
a Group of Seven official voiced concern about excessive moves
in the yen.
The Nikkei dropped 1 percent to 11,251.41 on
Wednesday after the yen firmed to as much as 92.82 against the
dollar. It weakened to 93.25 before Thursday's stock
Also likely to support early trade on Thursday was a 0.5
rise in Nikkei futures in Chicago to 11,315, up from
the close in Osaka of 11,260.
The Bank of Japan is expected to keep monetary policy steady
at the end of its two-day policy meeting on Thursday, but may
improve its assessment of the economy and rebuff growing global
concern that Tokyo is trying to deliberately weaken the yen.
The yen had slumped 15 percent against the dollar since
mid-November, accelerating as Japan's new government put
relentless pressure on the BOJ to launch more aggressive policy
easing. The yen's slide has sparked concerns of a currency war
due to the risks of competitive devaluations.
"Usually the BOJ doing nothing causes a bit of
disappointment, but since there are concerns about the flak
Japan might get at the G20 this weekend for the weakening yen,
standing pat will actually be a relief to the market," said
Masayuki Doshida, senior market analyst at Rakuten Securities.
> Wall St pauses after rally to 5-yr high
> Yen flat as cautious investors trim bets ahead of G20
> Prices fall after lukewarm 10-year auction
> Gold drops below $1,650, focus shifts to equities
> Brent firm near $119, U.S. crude stocks rise
STOCKS TO WATCH
- ASAHI GROUP HOLDINGS LTD
Japanese brewer Asahi Group Holdings posted record sales and
net profit for the year ended December 31 on Wednesday, with the
latter reaching 57.18 billion yen. The beverage maker also said
it would buy back up to 30 billion yen ($322 million) worth of
its own shares, or 4.3 percent of all its issued stock.
- ORIX CORP
Financial services firm Orix Corp said it is in talks to buy
Dutch asset manager Robeco from its owner Rabobank as
a local newspaper reported the companies are close to reaching a
deal, which could be worth around 3 billion euros ($4 billion).
Bicycle parts maker Shimano posted an operating profit of
40.96 billion yen ($438 million) for the year ended December 31,
slightly above guidance of 40 billion yen, and forecast
operating profit to increase by 5 percent in the current year.
Japanese refinery group TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK, in which
Exxon Mobil has a stake, will cut 16 percent of its
661,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude refining capacity by March
2014 to meet government rules on improving refinery efficiency,
according to the Nikkei business daily.