March 1, 2012 / 1:41 AM / 6 years ago

Nikkei climbs near 9,800, boosted by capex Data, yen

 * Nikkei recaptures closely watched 9,800 mark
 * Softer yen, Japan capex data boost shares
 * Major exporters, bluechips gain
 * Softbank up after winning high-speed spectrum
 By Mari Saito	
 TOKYO, March 1 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average was
trading near the closely watched 9,800 mark on Thursday, boosted
by an unexpected jump in fourth-quarter capital expenditure by
Japanese companies, while the softening yen and the European
Central Bank's liquidity move underpinned sentiment.	
 In an encouraging sign of an uptick in demand, Japanese
companies increased their capital spending by 7.6 percent in the
October-December period, better than the median estimate for a
6.5 percent annual decline. 	
 The benchmark Nikkei gained 0.8 percent to 9,800.55,
extending the February rally of 10.5 percent. It managed to
recapture the 9,800 level after the previous day's rally to a
seven-month intraday high proved unsustainable and the benchmark
ended flat.	
 The broader Topix index was up 0.6 percent at
 "The capex data was much better than previous estimates and
that, combined with the yen which is softer today against the
dollar, is prompting buying in all major sectors like
financials, autos, machinery and real estate," said Masayuki
Doshida, senior market analyst at Rakuten Securities.	
 The dollar was trading at 81.19 yen, moving back
towards a nine-month high of 81.661 yen hit earlier this week.	
 Among export-oriented bluechips, Toyota Motor Corp 
gained 1.8 percent in heavy volume, while Sony Corp 
climbed 2.4 percent and Canon Inc advanced 1.9 percent.	
 Japan's transportation equipment subindex was the
best sectoral performer on the main board and gained 1.8
 Societe General wrote in a note to clients on Wednesday that
the yen was near its best levels for a number of years and
recommended clients buy a three-month call spread for the Nikkei
between 9,750 and 10,750.	
 "The Nikkei is closely linked with the dollar/yen rate so
obviously with the yen trading above 81 yen against the dollar
today is a booster for stocks," said Yutaka Miura, senior
technical analyst at Mizuho Securities. 	
 Miura said the ECB's liquidity operation overnight, although
helping to support bullish market sentiment, did not contribute
to the Nikkei's gains.	
 A total of 800 banks grabbed 530 billion euros ($709
billion) at the ECB's offering of cheap three-year funds on
Wednesday, slightly more than analysts had expected for the
bank's second long-term refinancing operation. 	
 Softbank Corp was up 2.1 percent after it won the
coveted 900 Megahertz spectrum for high-speed mobile services as
it races to strengthen its network.	
 U.S. stocks slipped overnight after Federal Reserve Chairman
Ben Bernanke offered a tempered view of the U.S. economy and
gave no hint of further easing moves, disappointing investors
hoping for a signal of more stimulus.	
 ($1 = 0.7476 euros)	
 (Additional reporting by Dominic Lau; Editing by Edmund
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