Nikkei set to move up, volume seen low on U.S. budget talk concern
TOKYO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is set to edge higher on Friday and may test a seven-month high, supported by the yen's move to a weaker level against the dollar which has boosted expectations of improved earnings for exporters. The opening price is expected to be pegged around Nikkei futures in Chicago , which closed at 9,460, up 50 points from the close in Osaka of 9,410, analysts said. The index was likely to trade between 9,400 to 9,500. The Nikkei advanced 1.0 percent on Thursday to 9,400.88 points, climbing above its five-day moving average at 9,377.65. Analysts said that sentiment remains positive for earnings for bellwether exporters as the dollar holds above 82 yen, but volume may be low reflecting uncertainty surrounding U.S. budget talks. A day after expressing optimism over a U.S. "fiscal cliff" deal, senior Republican John Boehner said there had been no "substantive" progress made in the last two weeks, denting hopes for a deal to prevent the U.S. economy from slipping into a possible recession next year. "The market's mood is still positive, but the index has reached a level where investors want to take a break until there are more signs that these issues will be resolved," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities. Doomestic investors could turn into sellers when the Nikkei reached the 9,500-mark, he added, although foreign investors may chase the market higher. Foreign investors were net buyers of Japanese stocks last week for the second straight week after three weeks of net selling. They bought a net 275.6 billion yen of shares in the week through Nov. 24, data from the Ministry of Finance showed. "The weak yen trend is keeping foreigners interested in Japanese shares," said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities, adding that while the Nikkei is on a rising trend, some corrections may be possible. Market players said investors would be watching for Japan's October industrial output data, which is due out 2350 GMT. The benchmark Nikkei has rallied 8.5 percent over the past two weeks, taking the month-to-date gain to 5.3 percent, on track for its best monthly performance since June. The broader Topix gained 1.0 percent to 779.44 on Thursday. > Wall St ends higher after swings on 'fiscal cliff' > Euro off one-month highs as U.S. fiscal talk weighs > US budget worries boost benchmark prices for 4th day > Gold rises with equities, U.S. 'fiscal cliff' eyed > Oil up on U.S. budget optimism, Middle East tensions STOCKS TO WATCH --Sony Corp, Nintendo Co Sony sold over 525,000 PlayStation3 consoles in the United States during the week of Black Friday that kicked off the holiday shopping season, surpassing sales of Nintendo's new Wii U. --Mitsubishi Corp A subsidiary of Japan's Mitsubishi Corp has bought a 40 percent stake in a $1.3 billion, 532-megawatt thermoelectric project planned in Chile, the plant's majority owner, AES Gener , said on Thursday without disclosing how much the purchase cost. --Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Hitachi Ltd Mitsubishi Heavy and Hitachi are to combine their thermal power businesses to compete against overseas rivals Siemens and General Electric, which are winning deals even in the Japanese firms' backyard.
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