TOKYO, Oct 24 Japan's Nikkei share average is likely to fall on Wednesday after poor U.S. earnings increase investor uneasiness about the outlook for Japanese companies, though expectations of an easing next week from the Bank of Japan should prevent a big drop. Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 8,850 to 8,950, down from Tuesday's close of 9,014.25, and could test the lower half of that range if HSBC's China purchasing manager's index disappoints investors this morning. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 8,910, down 1 percent from the close in Osaka of 9,000. "The Nikkei is going to be weak today but it's unlikely to go below its 75-day moving average at 8,855.35, and its 25-day moving average at 8,880 could also provide support," said Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex. In New York, weak results from chemical maker DuPont and United Technologies Corp hit sentiment as investors become concerned that the global slowdown is having a bigger impact on corporate earnings than anticipated. Just 37 percent of the 29 S&P 500 companies reporting results so far have exceeded revenue forecasts, short of the 62 percent average of recent years, while 57.2 percent have beaten earnings forecasts, which would be the lowest proportion since 2001 if it were to stay at the same level. Expectations for S&P 500 companies have deteriorated from last month, with its one-month earnings momentum - analysts' earnings upgrades minus downgrades as a total of estimates - falling to -3 percent from 2.3 percent last month. Although Japanese companies suffered a larger drop to -12.2 percent from -6.7 percent last month, analysts say poor earnings have largely been priced into the market. Further, there are strong hints of the BOJ leaning towards easing monetary policy again next week that could offer the market some support, with investors expecting policymakers to discuss steps in addition to a further increase in its asset-buying scheme. The Nikkei rose 3.5 points on Tuesday for a seventh straight day of gains, its longest winning streak since July 2011. > Weak outlooks doom Dow to worst day in 4 months > Euro, AUD on the defensive as data looms > Spain, growth worries propel bond prices > Gold down 1 pct near $1,700/oz on economic fears > Oil slumps on growth concerns, corporate forecast cuts STOCKS TO WATCH -SUMITOMO CORP, KDDI CORP Sumitomo and KDDI are going to integrate their cable businesses by late 2013, according to the Nikkei business daily, after acquiring current market leader Jupiter Telecommunications by March through a tender offer of 110,000 per share for the 30 percent of shares owned by private investors. - NISSAN MOTOR CO Nissan is to spend about 30 billion yen ($376 million) to build a new plant in Thailand near an existing plant to double production there to 400,000 units, according to the Nikkei daily. The plant should be running by 2014, the paper said. - HONDA MOTOR CO Honda will spend around 4 billion yen ($50 million) over the next two years to expand research facilities in Brazil to strengthen the development of subcompact cars for the local market in a bid to capture the country's growing middle class market.
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