TOKYO, Feb 25 The Nikkei is expected to rally strongly and test a 53-month high on Monday after sources said Japan is likely to nominate Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda, an advocate of aggressive monetary easing, as its next central bank chief. Exporters are likely to lead the gains after the yen hit a 33-month high of 94.61 yen to the dollar on Monday, while financials and real estate companies will also be in focus as they stand to gain the most from any reflationary policy. The Nikkei is likely to trade between 11,450 and 11,650, strategists said. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 11,500 on Friday, up 0.8 percent from the Osaka close of 11,410. Sources said the government was also likely to nominate an academic and a central banker to fill the two deputy governor posts that open up on March 19. Earlier, the Nikkei newspaper said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will submit the nominations for Kuroda and the two deputy governors to parliament this week. Kikuo Iwata, an academic known as one of the most vocal advocates of bold monetary expansion, was likely to be nominated as a deputy BOJ governor, it said. "The combination of Kuroda and Iwata is not perfect but it's one of the best combinations. I think that will give positive impact to the markets," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Inc. The Nikkei share average advanced 0.7 percent to 11,385.94 on Friday, while the broader Topix index added 0.1 percent to 963.48. The benchmark Nikkei has rallied about 31 percent since mid-November, driven by a weaker yen after Abe called for the BOJ to adopt more aggressive monetary policy in his election campaign. > Wall St rebounds on HP results, Fed officials' views > Yen, sterling slump, euro eyes Italy elections > Treasury prices firm before Bernanke's testimony > Gold posts second weekly loss on economic hopes > Oil slightly higher for day, down for the week STOCKS TO WATCH --ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS, JAPAN AIRLINES, GS YUASA CORP Boeing Co on Friday gave U.S. aviation regulators its plan to fix the volatile battery aboard its new 787 Dreamliner, even though investigators have not yet determined what caused the batteries to overheat on two planes last month. --SHARP CORP Sharp is unlikely to include a capital infusion from Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd in its turnaround plan as talks between the two companies have hit a snag, sources familiar with the matter said. --TOYOTA MOTOR CORP Toyota Motor Korea, Toyota Motor's South Korean sales affiliate, will recall nearly 7,000 Lexus IS cars due to wiper problems, South Korea's land and transport ministry announced on Sunday. --TAKEDA PHARMACEUTICAL CO U.S. Affymax Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceutical said they are voluntarily recalling all lots of anaemia treatment Omontys (peginesatide) in the United States, due to reports of serious hypersensitivity reactions, including some deaths. --TOSHIBA CORP Toshiba will appoint Corporate Senior Executive Vice President Hisao Tanaka as company president in June, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Saturday.
The Pentagon releases photographs linked to allegations of abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan.