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Nikkei rises as dollar-yen steady; activity thin before Jackson Hole
August 25, 2017 / 2:51 AM / a month ago

Nikkei rises as dollar-yen steady; activity thin before Jackson Hole

* Exporters, financials attract gains

* FamilyMart, Don Quijote soar on capital tie-up news

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average rose on Friday morning as the dollar was steady against the yen, but activity was subdued as investors waited on speeches at the central bankers’ symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that began on Thursday.

By the midday break, the Nikkei rose 0.5 percent to 19,440.36, after falling to more than a three-month low on the previous day. For the week, the Nikkei has fallen 0.3 percent so far, heading for a sixth straight weekly fall, the longest losing streak since January 2014 on a weekly basis.

Traders said that investors refrained from taking large positions before the weekend while they are focused on the central bankers’ meeting at which Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are due to speak on Friday.

Market participants will be watching for any signals that the ECB is close to paring its bond purchases, though two sources have told Reuters that Draghi will not deliver any new policy message at the event.

“So far, the market expects no surprise from the meeting, but investors want to stay on the sidelines until they see how overseas markets move later in the day after the event,” said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

Miura also said that the market will likely stay directionless for the time being amid ongoing worries about geopolitical risks between the United States and North Korea.

He added that investors will likely remain cautious with a late-September deadline looming for the United States to raise its debt ceiling or risk defaulting on debt payments.

President Donald Trump picked a new fight on Thursday with his fellow Republicans, saying congressional leaders could have avoided a “mess” over raising the U.S. debt ceiling if they had taken his advice.

Exporters attracted buyers, as the dollar was steady at 109.540 yen after gaining 0.5 percent overnight. Toyota Motor Corp gained 1.1 percent, Honda Motor Co rose 0.7 percent and Advantest Corp climbed 1.0 percent.

Financial stocks also rallied. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group added 0.7 percent and insurer Dai-ichi Life Holdings soared 0.9 percent.

FamilyMart UNY Holdings Co Ltd jumped as much as 6.7 percent, while Don Quijote Holdings surged 3.4 percent after saying it plans to buy a 40 percent stake in UNY Co., an unlisted business of FamilyMart UNY.

The broader Topix gained 0.4 percent to 1,597.78. (Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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