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Nikkei hits 2-week high as weak yen supports; Nomura Real Estate dives
June 19, 2017 / 6:55 AM / 6 months ago

Nikkei hits 2-week high as weak yen supports; Nomura Real Estate dives

* Turnover, volume at lowest since May 30

* Takata resumes trading, share price tumbles

* Futures-led trading lifts market - traders

* Domestic-demand sensitive stocks outperform

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, June 19 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks hit two-week highs on Monday, as the dollar’s steady performance against the yen fuelled buying of futures, while Nomura Real Estate dived after saying Japan Post was no longer considering buying a stake in the property company.

The Nikkei gained 0.6 percent to 20,067.75, its highest close since June 5.

The broader Topix rose 0.6 percent to 1,606.07, but only 1.48 billion shares changed hands, the lowest volume since May 30. Turnover was also the lowest since then.

“Investors are buying futures today... it’s more like today’s trading is futures-led than trade-led by individual stocks,” said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

The dollar was up 0.2 percent to comfortably stay above 111 yen during most of the session, which lifted U.S. futures , underpinning risk appetites in Asian trade.

Investors also believe Wall Street will fare better on Monday than on Friday, when it was subdued, Mizuho’s Miura said.

The Nikkei remained above the psychologically important 20,000-line as the market digested the Bank of Japan’s decision to keep policy unchanged on Friday.

After the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate hike and the BOJ’s meeting, traders see no major catalysts this week but will stay focused on coming U.S. economic indicators.

“We expect that the 20,000 level will become the Nikkei’s support level soon, and it will likely depend on whether the long-term U.S. yields will rise or not,” said Takuya Takahashi, a strategist at Daiwa Securities.

Monday’s notable gainers included domestic-demand sensitive stocks.

Construction companies Taisei Corp rose 2.4 percent and Kajima Corp soared 2.5 percent.

Nomura Real Estate Holdings sank 14 percent after it confirmed weekend media reports that Japan Post Holdings would likely scrap the talks to buy a stake in Nomura as the two companies had struggled to agree on terms. The potential deal, first reported in mid-May, had pushed Nomura’s shares up by 20 percent.

Major exporters were mixed, with Toyota Motor Corp falling 0.1 percent, Nissan Motor Co shedding 0.9 percent and Hitachi Ltd gaining 0.3 percent.

On Monday, the exchange’s suspension of Takata Corp , the troubled maker of air bag inflators, was lifted. There was a glut of sell orders and a trade at the end of the day left the stock at 404 yen, compared with 484 yen where it last traded on Thursday.

Trading in Takata was suspended throughout Friday because the company offered no official statement after sources said it was preparing to file for bankruptcy as early as this week. (Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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