Nikkei edges down; but softer yen, Toyota support

Mon Nov 5, 2012 1:31am GMT

* Nikkei to stay near key 9,000-mark on Monday -analyst
    * Weaker yen buoys exporters
    * Toyota hits one-mth high on report to raise op profit
f'cast

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei inched down on
Monday, with investors shying away from risk before the results
of a tightly fought U.S election, although a weaker yen limited
losses.
    Toyota Motor Corp also supported the index, rising
2.2 percent to a one one-month high at 3,210 yen after public
broadcaster NHK said it was set to slightly raise its operating
profit forecast. 
    The Nikkei dropped 0.2 percent to 9,033.75, while
the broader Topix was also 0.2 percent lower at 750.37.
    Analysts said that a softer yen would continue to buoy the
overall market and that the Nikkei would trade between 8,950 and
9,100 in the next few days.
    The yen was quoted at 80.480 to the dollar on Monday,
hovering near a six-month low of 80.680 hit on Friday.
    "The yen seems to have made a turnaround to stay weak, and
Japanese stocks seem to have picked up accordingly. But what's
negative is that U.S. stocks weakened before the presidential
election," said Yutaka Yoshino, chief technical analyst at SMBC
Nikko Securities, adding that the Nikkei may hover around the
9,000 mark on Monday.
    U.S. stocks ended an unusual storm-shortened trading week
with a sell-off on Friday as major indexes erased early gains on
a better-than-expected payrolls report, with some analysts
pointing to disappointing third-quarter earnings.
 
    Exporters were helped by the yen's decline, with Honda Motor
Corp adding 1.0 percent to 2,491 yen, and Nissan Motor
Corp gaining 0.4 percent to 689 yen. Toshiba Corp
 advanced 0.3 percent to 297 yen.
    Amid sluggish global growth, company earnings have been weak
this quarterly reporting season. About 56 percent of the 101
Nikkei companies that have reported earnings so far this quarter
undershot market expectations, according to Thomson Reuters
StarMine. That compared with 54 percent in the previous quarter.
    Yamada Denki Co Ltd fell 5.4 percent to 3,240 yen after the
home electronics retailer slashed its operating profit forecast
for the year ending March 2013 by 39 percent to 57.3 billion
yen, citing weaker sales.
    The benchmark Nikkei is up 6.8 percent this year, trailing a
12.5 percent rise in the U.S. S&P 500 and a 12.4 percent
gain in the pan-European STOXX Europe 600 index.
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