May 15, 2015 / 2:55 AM / 5 years ago

Nikkei rebounds after Wall Street surges; Nikon tumbles

* Nikon tumbles after earnings, brokerage rating cut
    * Companies announcing shareholder returns rise
    * Two brokers cut Sharp's target price drastically

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, May 15 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
rebounded on Friday morning after Wall Street surged on receding
worries about a U.S. interest rate hike, while Nikon Corp
 tumbled after releasing a weak earnings forecast.
    Nikon fell 13.5 percent to a three-month low of 1,483 yen
after it forecast a 30.9 percent fall in its operating profit to
30 billion yen ($250 million) for the year to March 2016. Its
American Depositary share price had dropped 13 percent
overnight. Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities cut its rating to
"underweight" from "equal-weight".
    On Thursday, U.S. shares rose sharply after a spate of U.S.
economic data painted an improving employment picture, while
subdued producer price inflation eased expectations that the
U.S. central bank would raise interest rates sooner rather than
later this year. 
    The Nikkei 225 was up 0.7 percent at 19,698.25 in
mid-morning trade, with a resistance level seen at its 25-day
moving average of 19,765. For the week, it has gained 1.5
    "If overseas markets stabilise and uncertainty eases
further, investors will gradually look to individual catalysts
in the Japanese market," said Isao Kubo, a strategist at Nissay
Asset Management, adding that the Nikkei would likely crawl back
to 20,000.
    Companies announcing returns to shareholders gained ground.
Advertising firm Dentsu Inc jumped 11 percent after
raising its dividend payout forecast to 70 yen per share from 55
yen per share for the year through December. It also announced a
share buyback. 
    Marui Group jumped 3.7 percent after hiking its
dividend payout to 22 yen per share for this fiscal year, up 3
yen per share from the previous year. It also announced a share
    Sharp Corp tumbled as much as 11.5 percent after it
posted its third net loss in four years and announced
restructuring steps that investors said did not go far enough.
The restructuring measures will include 5,000 job cuts or 10
percent of its global workforce as well as the sale of its
    The announcement was followed by drastic cuts in target
share prices by two foreign brokerages. UBS Securities slashed
its target price to 40 yen from 170 yen and Bank Of America
Merrill Lynch cut its target to 60 yen from 260 yen.
    The broader Topix added 0.3 percent to 1,596.90, and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.3 percent to
 ($1 = 119.3900 yen)

 (Editing by Edmund Klamann)
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