Japan's Nikkei set to post best yearly gain since 2005

Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:05pm GMT

TOKYO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is
expected to open higher on Friday, on track to log its best
yearly gain since 2005, buoyed by a weaker yen on expectations
of aggressive monetary stimulus under new Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe.
    The Nikkei is likely to trade between 10,300 and
10,450, strategists said, while Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 10,405 on Thursday, up 0.3 percent from the
Osaka close of 10,370.
    "Further gains are definitely possible, with the sharply
weaker yen in focus," said Hiroichi Nishi, equity general
manager at SMBC Nikko Securities.
    Yen selling has accelerated in the past two months on
speculation Abe will pursue policies to weaken the currency,
which has hurt Japanese exporters' overseas earnings when
repatriated and competitiveness.
    The yen reached a more than two-year low of 86.345 to the
dollar on Friday. The Japanese currency has lost 12 percent
against the greenback this year, heading for its biggest annual
loss since 2005.
    On Thursday, the Nikkei advanced 0.9 percent to 10,322.98 to
a 21-month high, while the broader Topix index rose 0.8
percent to 854.09.
    The benchmark Nikkei has rallied 19.1 percent over the past
six weeks, taking the year-to-date gain for the Nikkei to 22.1
percent in local currency, heading for its best yearly gain
since 2005.
        
> Wall St rebounds on House session, but off for 4th day    
> Yen extends weakness; dollar slips as US fiscal talk eyed 
> Treasuries climb as U.S. near 'fiscal cliff'             
> Gold up again but gains small as fiscal crisis hedge    
> Oil eases as U.S. budget uncertainty drags on            
    
    STOCKS TO WATCH
    --POWER COMPANIES
    Japan's idled nuclear reactors will gradually be restarted
under the newly-elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the units
receive the all-clear from the country's Nuclear Regulation
Authority, the Nikkei reported. 
    --TOSHIBA CORP 
    Toshiba is in talks with three parties, including U.S.
engineering firm Chicago Bridge and Iron Company NV, to
sell a portion of its stake in its nuclear power unit
Westinghouse, according to media reports. 
    --FUJITSU LTD 
    Fujitsu is likely to miss its personal computer sales target
this year due to sluggish demand in crisis-hit Europe as well as
a backlash against Japanese products over regional tensions with
China.
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