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Nikkei set to extend rise on yen, eyes on new finmin

 TOKYO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average is likely to
extend gains on Thursday after hitting a 15-month closing high,
with exporters helped by a weaker yen, while resource-linked
shares may rise on higher commodity prices such as oil.
 Japan Airlines Corp 9205.T will be in focus after a source
said that it could get a $3.3 billion lifeline from a
state-backed fund if it files for bankruptcy, while the Nikkei
newspaper said it might post a 1.23 trillion yen ($13.3 billion)
loss this financial year under a government turnaround plan.
[ID:nTOE605013] [[ID:nWNBB5851]
 Eyes are on future comments and actions by Naoto Kan after
Japan named the fiery deputy prime minister as finance minister
on Wednesday, turning to a politician with less hawkish fiscal
views than his predecessor.
 Kan, who takes over after 77-year-old Hirohisa Fujii stepped
down for health reasons, is a critic of the Bank of Japan for
being too rosy in its view of the economy and has pressured the
central bank into easing its already hyper-loose monetary policy.
[ID:nT79774]
 "Upward momentum for Japanese stocks is becoming apparent and
that will likely continue, due to a recovery in the global
economy, the weaker yen and receding worries about equity
financing by banks," said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of
equity marketing at Nikko Cordial Securities.
 "The news about Kan's becoming finance minister will likely
be neutral for the market for now as his ability in the new post
is still unknown and investors want to see what he is capable of
from now on."
 Nikkei futures traded in Chicago 2NKc1 closed at 10,835, up
1.2 percent from the Osaka close JNIc1, pointing to a higher
start.
 The benchmark Nikkei .N225 is likely to move between 10,650
and 10,850, market players said. It edged up 0.5 percent on
Wednesday to 10,731.45, its third straight day of gains and a
15-month closing high.
 Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group 8316.T said it would raise
up to $9.7 billion in a share sale to meet stricter global
banking regulations and expand overseas, tapping a modest stock
rebound for much-needed fundraising. [ID:nTOE6040B9]
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2313 GMT ------------
                 INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500             .SPX       1137.14      0.05%     0.620
USD/JPY             JPY=       92.34        0.03%     0.030
10-YR US TSY YLD    US10YT=RR  3.8293          --     0.000
SPOT GOLD           XAU=       1137.3      -0.05%    -0.600
US CRUDE            CLc1       83.2         0.02%     0.020
DOW JONES           .DJI       10573.68     0.02%      1.66
-------------------------------------------------------------
> Dow, S&P edge up, Nasdaq off on data, Fed minutes     [.N]
> Dollar falls vs euro after Fed minutes; yen down    [USD/]
> Bonds dip on worries over upcoming jobs report       [US/]
> Gold hits 3-week high on commodities gains, dollar  [GOL/]
> Oil above $83 as cold snap continues 10-day rally    [O/R]
 STOCKS TO WATCH
 -- Sharp 6753.T
 Japan's Sharp Corp aims to post double-digit TV revenue
growth in North America this year to bring sales back to 2008
levels. [ID:nN06163828]
 -- Dentsu Inc 4324.T
 Dentsu will buy about 40 percent interest in Chinese ad
agency Suntrend Advertising Co, the Nikkei business daily
reported.
 Under the basic agreement, Dentsu will buy Suntrend shares
from existing stockholders for about 5 billion yen ($54.32
million) to become the company's largest stakeholder, the paper
said. [ID:nSGE6050J3]
 -- Inpex Corp 1605.T, other energy-related stocks
 Oil prices rose on Wednesday, in a tenth straight day of
gains, as expectations cold weather will boost heating fuel
demand outweighed a U.S. inventory report showing a build in
crude stocks. [O/R]
 (Reporting by Aiko Hayashi; Edit)










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