TOKYO, Jan 15 Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to open higher on Tuesday and may test the 11,000-mark, a level not seen since late April 2010, as persistent weakness in the yen boosts demand for exporters. The Nikkei is likely to trade between 10,850 and 11,000, strategists said, while Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 10,980 on Monday, up 1,4 percent from the Osaka close of 10,830 on Friday. Monday was a holiday in Japan. "During the Japanese long weekend, the overseas market conditions were relatively good," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Inc. "There are good expectations of corporate earnings." "In addition, the yen depreciation is good for the Japanese market," he said. The yen was quoted at 89.47 to the dollar on Tuesday after falling to a 2-1/2-year low of 89.67 in the previous session, while the Japanese currency was traded at 119.76 to the euro. The Nikkei advanced 1.4 percent to 10,801.57 on Friday, and was up 1.1 percent last week, its ninth straight week of gains and longest weekly winning run since 1988. The broader Topix index climbed 1.1 percent to 898.69. The Nikkei has rallied nearly 25 percent over the past two months, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on the Bank of Japan to adopt aggressive policy to energise the ailing economy, including setting an inflation target of 2 percent. But Sharp Corp and other Apple Inc suppliers were likely to be in focus after the Nikkei newspaper said on Monday the U.S. company had slashed orders with suppliers of components for the iPhone 5 due to weak demand. > Apple drags on S&P, Nasdaq; Dell jumps after report > Euro at 11-month high vs dollar as euro-zone fears abate > Treasuries edge up on Bernanke remarks > Platinum hits 3-month high on supply worry, gold up > Oil rises toward $112 on product strength, weak dollar STOCKS TO WATCH --SHARP CORP Apple Inc has almost halved its orders with suppliers of LCD panels, including Japan Display Inc and Sharp, for the iPhone 5 in the current quarter due to weak demand, the Nikkei reported on Monday. --SOFTBANK CORP Softbank is in final talks to sell its stake in eAccess Ltd, representing around 67 percent of voting rights, to Samsung Electronics Co and 10 others, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The sales would ease concerns that Softbank could hold a monopoly on spectrum allocation designated by Japan's Communications Ministry, the source said. --JAPAN AIRLINES CO Japan Airlines said on Sunday that a Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner jet undergoing checks in Tokyo following a fuel leak at Boston airport last week had leaked fuel during tests earlier in the day. --DAIICHI SANKYO CO LTD ArQule Inc and Daiichi Sankyo said a mid-stage trial of their colorectal cancer drug failed to meet the main study goal of improving patient survival without the cancer getting worse. --AEON CO LTD Aeon posted a 5.5 percent fall in nine-month operating profit as soft consumer demand and increased competition at its general merchandise and grocery store dented revenues, but the company maintained its annual profit forecast. --HONDA MOTOR CO Honda plans to cut around 800 jobs at its plant near Swindon in south west England due to falling demand for its vehicles around mainland Europe. --DAI-ICHI LIFE INSURANCE Sompo Japan Insurance, Dai-ichi Life Insurance, Zurich and Allianz SE are among potential buyers for Turkish bank Yapi Kredi's insurance arm, Yapi Kredi Sigorta , sources close to the matter said on Friday
Kraft withdraws offer to merge with Unilever
UPDATE 3-SpaceX launches rocket from historic NASA pad in Florida
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Feb 19 A SpaceX Falcon rocket blasted off on Sunday from a Florida launch pad once used to send NASA astronauts to the moon, a step forward for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk and his company's goal of ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station. The 229-foot tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 soared off a seaside launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center at 9:39 a.m. ET (1439 GMT) carrying a Dragon cargo ship bound for the station.