TOKYO, Nov 5 Japan's Nikkei average is expected to open lower on Monday, tracking weakness on Wall Street despite better-than-expected U.S. jobs data, although a softer yen is likely to limit losses for exporters. The Nikkei was likely to trade between 8,950 and 9,100, strategists said, while Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 9,005 on Friday, down 0.6 percent from the Osaka close of 9,060. "The U.S. market reaction was not a big surprise. The positive jobs data had been discounted," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Inc. "But it's very clear the U.S. economy is improving and recovering." U.S. stocks ended an unusual storm-shortened trading week with a sell-off on Friday as major indexes erased early gains on the payrolls report, with some analysts pointing to disappointing third-quarter earnings. But Hiroki said any selloff in the Nikkei was likely to be limited as the yen was quoted at 80.470 to the dollar, hovering near a six-month low of 80.680 hit on Friday. On Friday, the Nikkei climbed 1.2 percent to 9,051.22 to a one-week closing high but faced resistance at its 200-day moving average at 9,070.56. The broader Topix index rose 1.2 percent to 752.09. 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. The benchmark Nikkei is up 7.1 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. > Wall St ends storm-shortened week with a selloff > Dollar rallies broadly after U.S. jobs data > Treasuries near flat as investors eye election > Gold down 2 pct after strong U.S. nonfarm payrolls > Oil falls as U.S. acts to boost East Coast fuel supply STOCKS TO WATCH --HONDA MOTOR CO Honda's China car sales plunged 54 percent in October from a year earlier, marking the second monthly sales slump as Japanese automakers continue to suffer the backlash from a territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo. --NISSAN MOTOR CO Nissan said on Friday it is investing 11 billion baht ($358 million) to build a second assembly plant in Thailand that will have an annual production capacity of 75,000 vehicles when it opens in August 2014.
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