TOKYO, July 18 Japan's Nikkei share average may
hit fresh two-month highs on Thursday, after Federal Reserve
Chairman Ben Bernanke signalled he was flexible on when the
central bank would begin winding down its stimulus.
His comments helped Wall Street make modest gains and
weakened the yen.
"The Nikkei is expected to rise but it is highly likely that
it will struggle to post strong gains as I expect Intel's weak
full-year outlook will cap the upside, particularly in related
sectors," said Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at
Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade
between 14,500 to 14,700 on Thursday. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 14,670 on Wednesday, up 0.5 percent from the
close in Osaka.
The world's biggest chipmaker Intel Corp cut its
annual revenue forecast and said it is scaling back capital
spending as it adjusts to a painful contraction of personal
computer sales and economic weakness in China.
The Nikkei has fallen 8.3 percent from this year's peak of
15,942.60, but is still up 40.6 percent this year.
> Wall St gains after Bernanke cites flexible policy
> Dollar rebounds from 3-week low after Bernanke remarks
> U.S. yields fall as Bernanke curbs bond-buying worries
> Gold falls, Bernanke sees Fed tapering later this year
> Oil rises as U.S. inventories drop again, gasoline off
STOCKS TO WATCH
SoftBank Corp will team up with a U.S. fuel cell developer
to provide the off-grid power source to corporate clients in
Japan, the Nikkei business daily reported, citing company
TDK is expected to report a nearly 50 percent year-on-year
plunge in operating profit for the three months ended June 30,
hurt by poor sales of magnetic heads used in hard-disk drives,
the Nikkei newspaper said.