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Nikkei adds 0.7 pct in subdued trade; G20 outcome, earnings eyed
April 19, 2013 / 7:46 AM / in 5 years

Nikkei adds 0.7 pct in subdued trade; G20 outcome, earnings eyed

* Nikkei up 0.7 pct on day, sheds 1.3 pct on week
    * Investors await G20 outcome, corporate earnings - analyst
    * Small-caps in demand, social game-related shares booming

    By Tomo Uetake
    TOKYO, April 19 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose on Friday
in choppy trade after a downward trend in the yen helped offset
negative sentiment from Wall Street and buoyed some exporters.
    Investors are keeping an eye on the meeting of officials
from the Group of 20 leading economies and key corporate
earnings for firmer direction. 
    The Nikkei share average gained 0.7 percent to
13,316.48, climbing above its five-day moving average of
13,283.31 after moving in and out of negative territory in the
morning session. But the benchmark still ended the week down 1.3
percent.
    On Thursday, U.S. stocks were dragged down by disappointing
earnings forecasts by companies including eBay, while
weak data added to worries over the recovery in the world's
largest economy.
    Still, investors remained upbeat about Japanese equities as
the yen slipped against the dollar on Friday after Japan said
the G20 had accepted Tokyo's claim that the central bank's
sweeping monetary expansion is aimed at beating deflation and
not at competitively devaluing the yen.
    The comments by Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso eased
concerns that the bold monetary stimulus, which had triggered a
drop in the yen to a four-year low versus the dollar last week,
could come under criticism at the G20 meeting. 
    "Investors are watching if Kuroda's comments are approved by
international peers," said Masaru Hamasaki, senior strategist at
Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.
    Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said in Washington on
Thursday that Japan's monetary easing was implemented for purely
domestic policy reasons -- to achieve price stability and meet
the country's 2 percent inflation target in two years and is not
aimed at weakening the yen. 
    "If all goes well with Japan not facing criticism of its
aggressive monetary policy by its international partners, the
yen may weaken further and large-cap stocks may be bought," said
Yoshiyuki Kondo, an analyst at Daiwa Securities. 
    The dollar last traded at 98.64 yen, moving a tad
closer to a four-year high of close to a 100 yen last week.
    This provided a tailwind for some exporters. Mazda Motor
Corp, Nikon Corp and Sony Corp 
advanced between 1.7 percent and 2.3 percent.
    "While foreign investors cautiously await the outcome of the
G20 meeting and key corporate earnings, retail investors are
actively trading medium-to-small stocks," said Yuya Tsuchida, a
strategist of Toyo Securities.
    "The underlying trend is solid. Next week, once the major
events are over, I think the Nikkei may test the 14,000 level,
depending on how sound key corporate earnings results will be,"
he said.
    The quarterly earnings season will kick into high gear
starting next week.
    The broader Topix added 0.3 percent to 1,126.67,
with 3.59 billion shares changing hands, the lowest in 12
sessions.
    The benchmark Nikkei has gained more than 50 percent since
November when Shinzo Abe, who became prime minister in December,
called for bold fiscal and monetary expansionary policies to
revive the economy and end stubborn deflation.
    Societe Generale said the most-traded Nikkei stock option on
Friday was a call with a strike price of 14,500, 8.9 percent
above the current level, and with a May expiry.
    The next most-traded was a call at 14,750, followed by
another call at 14,250 and a put at 12,250.
    
    GAME TIME
    Social game-related stocks emerged as clear gainers this
week. "The trigger appears to have been KLab's 'Lovelive' game.
This could be another boom," said Hiroshi Yamashina, an
Internet-sector analyst at BNP Paribas Securities in Tokyo. 
    KLab Inc's 'Love Live! School Idol Festival' game
rapidly climbed up the rankings after its launch on Tuesday and
that captured the market's attention, Yamashina explained. 
    KLab's stock price shot up 68 percent over the last four
sessions. The share closed 5.8 percent higher on the day. 
    Colopl Inc, which has been dubbed as the "next
GungHo (Online Entertainment Inc )", rose 46 percent
over the last four sessions. It added 1.4 percent on the day. 
    Capcom Co Ltd jumped 9 percent on Friday after the
gaming company said it would buy back 1.5 million shares, which
amount to 2.6 percent of its outstanding shares and worth up to
2.5 billion yen ($25 million), between April 22 and May 31.

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