Nikkei set to fall as mood sours on euro zone uncertainty
TOKYO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is set to extend its losses to a second day as investor sentiment was dented by uncertainty over the euro zone economy triggered by gloomy comments from the ECB president on Europe's outlook. Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 11,250 to 11,400 on Friday after ending down 0.9 percent at 11,357.07 on Thursday, retreating from a 33-month high of 11,498.42 struck on Wednesday. But the Nikkei has been up 1.5 percent this week so far, which could still mark its 13th straight week of gains, its longest winning streak in 54 years. Analysts said that investors may stay on the sidelines on Friday partly because the yen's slide has paused, while some investors are reluctant to take big positions before the three-day weekend. Markets are closed on Monday in Japan for a national holiday. They added that the mood was soured when European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said while economic activity in the euro area should recover gradually in 2013, there were more negative risks than positive ones. "The market is prone to profit-taking as there needs to be more positive catalysts to rise above the recent high," said Hiroichi Nishi, an assistant general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities. "But the massive trading volume posted yesterday suggests that the Japanese market is still in the spotlight where both foreign investors and retail investors are willing to invest." On the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board, 5.14 billion shares changed hands on Thursday, its second highest on the record. The dollar last traded at 93.70 yen, retreating from 94.06 on Wednesday, the highest since May 2010. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 11,330, down from the close in Osaka of 11,390. > Wall Street ends lower on renewed euro zone fears > Euro plunges on ECB Draghi's currency comment, economic risk > Bonds edge up as euro slips, stocks fall > Gold down in volatile trading on renewed euro fears > Brent oil near five-month high on Iran, WTI falls STOCKS TO WATCH -- Sony Corp Sony stuck with its full-year profit forecast as a weaker yen and asset sales underpinned earnings, offsetting weaker demand for its televisions, game consoles and other devices. -- Toyota Motor Corp Toyota unveiled a redesigned Tundra pickup truck on Thursday with a back-up camera, easier-to-use controls and other features designed to take advantage of the lucrative U.S. truck market's anticipated growth. -- Fujitsu Ltd Fujitsu expects to post an extraordinary loss of 170 billion yen ($1.8 billion) this business year due to the one-time costs of reorganising its microchip business and writing down the value of its European IT services arm.
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