February 1, 2010 / 12:31 AM / 9 years ago

Nikkei set to rise as exporters gain on weaker yen

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei average is expected to rise on Tuesday after better-than-expected economic data and robust earnings revived bullish sentiment on Wall Street, with exporters such as Canon Inc up on a weaker yen.

A man is reflected on a stock market board at a business district in Tokyo December 30, 2009. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Toyota Motor Corp is likely to stay in the spotlight after it detailed plans on Monday to fix nearly 4.5 million vehicles equipped with faulty accelerators in North America and Europe as lawsuits landed claiming the world’s largest automaker had endangered drivers.

Toyota also said it would restart production of eight models on February 8 after a planned one-week shutdown at six plants in the United States and Canada.

Toyota shares traded in the United States closed up 3.8 percent, and market players said it was likely to rise in Tokyo as well.

“Nikkei shares in Tokyo have fallen enough that investors are now interested in buying, and while gains are likely to be limited today the market will take aim at 10,600, which is where the 25-day moving average comes in,” said Kenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities.

“Like the Nikkei, Wall Street was poised for a bit of a rebound after its recent losses, and investors used the good data as an excuse.”

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index showed the sector grew in January at a faster rate than expected, following similar surveys from China, Australia and the euro zone.

Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, reported quarterly profit that beat Wall Street expectations, sending its shares higher and boosting the energy sector.

The benchmark Nikkei is likely to move between 10,200 and 10,350, market players said. It closed at 10,205.02 on Monday.

In a sign the market will open higher, Nikkei futures traded in Chicago closed at 10,315, up 1.2 percent from the Osaka close.

STOCKS TO WATCH

— Cosmo Oil Co Ltd

Cosmo Oil will cut its refining capacity by 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Tuesday, becoming the latest Japanese refiner to cut production capacity in the face declining demand.

— Japan Airlines Corp

The new president of Japan Airlines said the bankrupt carrier has not yet decided whether to stick with partner American Airlines or defect to Delta Air Lines and its SkyTeam group.

— Daiichi Sankyo

Daiichi Sankyo said on Monday it has applied to the Health Ministry for approval of a new influenza drug, CS-8958, that would be administered as an inhalant and targets both type A and type B influenza viruses.

It said that in non-clinical studies the drug also was effective against the H1N1 and H5N1 bird flu viruses.

Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Michael Watson

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