TOKYO, March 2 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to open with a positive tone on Friday following gains on Wall Street, but profit-taking ahead of the weekend may prevent it from breaking above a six-month high hit earlier in the week.
"I think the market will try the upside in the morning but few may chase the upside aggressively given the recent overheating in the market," said a trader at a Japanese brokerage.
Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 9,700 to 9,850 on Friday, with major support at the five-day moving average, which stood at 9,687 on Thursday.
Nikkei futures in Chicago <0#NIY:> closed at 9,790, up from the close in Osaka of 9,710.
The cash Nikkei fell 0.2 percent to 9,707.37 on Thursday, while technical indicators suggest the market is overbought in the near-term after a gain of more than 10 percent in February.
Concerns about a possible correction have capped the Nikkei's advance at around 9,865 in the past two days as many domestic investors took profits. It hit a six-month intraday high of high of 9,866 on Wedneday.
Wall Street shares rose on Thursday on upbeat data on the labor market, although sharp gains in oil prices limited the advance.
>Wall St returns to 2008 highs on banks >Euro hits 1-wk low as Fed policy differs with ECB >U.S. bonds down as QE3 timing reassessed >Gold rebounds 1.5 pct after rout, support seen >Oil highest since 2008 on Saudi pipeline report
STOCKS TO WATCH
Nissan Motor plans to launch cheap automobiles tailored for emerging markets under its old Datsun brand in 2014, The Nikkei reported.
Michael Woodford, the ousted Olympus chief executive who blew the whistle on one of Japan's most high-profile frauds, vowed he would hold his former employer to account as he kicked off his legal battle for wrongful dismissal in London on Thursday.
-- Asahi Group
Asahi is emerging as a frontrunner to buy eastern European brewer StarBev in a deal expected to fetch up to $3 billion for private equity owner CVC Capital Partners, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Richard Pullin)