* Real estate, construction higher on Olympics hopes
* Consumer loan firms up on outstanding loan report
* Trading seen subdued as market awaits U.S. jobs data
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Sept 2 The Nikkei average rose on Monday
morning as real estate and construction stocks gained on hopes
that Tokyo will win the race to host the 2020 Summer Olympics,
while consumer finance shares climbed after a media report
citing rising loan demand.
The Nikkei was up 0.8 percent at 13,490.75 in
mid-morning trade after dropping 0.5 percent to 13,388.86 on
The Topix index added 0.7 percent to 1,113.84.
Analysts said trading was likely to stay subdued, with U.S.
markets closed for the Labor Day holiday and investors awaiting
key events including U.S. payrolls data later in the week and
the outcome of the Olympics bidding.
"Institutional investors are staying on the sidelines and
will stay that way until there is more clarity on the Fed's
tapering," said Kyoya Okazawa, head of global equities at BNP
Paribas. "Retail investors are active today picking up
Olympics-related stocks like Mitsui Fudosan, which is a leading
developer in the Tokyo Bay area."
Tokyo is competing against Istanbul and Madrid in the race
to host the Games, and a decision is expected on Sept.
Retail investors are speculating that real estate firms and
construction makers will benefit from redevelopment demand if
Tokyo wins the bidding, Okazawa said.
The real estate sector rose 2.1 percent and was
the second-biggest sectoral gainer. Mitsui Fudosan Co
rose 1.8 percent and Sumitomo Realty & Development Co
added 2.5 percent.
The construction sector added 1.8 percent, with
Kajima Corp gaining 3.1 percent and Taisei Corp
rising 2.2 percent.
Consumer finance stocks soared after the Nikkei business
daily said credit card usage and cash borrowing increased in the
April-June quarter as consumer sentiment recovered. Aiful Corp
jumped 5.2 percent and Acom Co surged 7.4
"Hedge funds are covering their short positions
aggressively," said a fund manager at a Japanese asset
management firm. "Companies like Aiful had been shorted heavily
as their share prices could not be justified with valuations."
Analysts also said the Nikkei's gains were likely to be
limited this week as investors closely monitor developments in
emerging markets, which were hit by worries that more capital
will flow out of the region if the U.S. Federal Reserve begins
scaling back its stimulus.
The Nikkei is up 30 percent this year, but is down 15
percent since its May peak.