TOKYO, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average was set to extend losses on Thursday after anti-austerity protests in Spain threatened a smooth resolution to the euro zone debt crisis, pushing the country's borrowing costs back to levels seen as unsustainable. Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 8,800 to 8,950 on Thursday after Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 8,865, down 0.6 percent from the close in Osaka. The Nikkei closed at 8,906.7 on Wednesday. Violent protests in Madrid against expected austerity measures and talk of Catalonia's secession increased the pressure on Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as he moves closer to requesting rescue funds. "There are growing concerns that the euro zone debt crisis is worsening again," said Masayuki Doshida, senior market analyst at Rakuten Securities. "The ECB's plan to buy bonds was an excellent one but it will be completely meaningless if they don't carry it out. Even worse would be if they started to buy Spanish debt and stopped if the conditions aren't fulfilled, which would cause havoc." In Greece, anti-austerity protests erupted as international lenders admitted to difficulty in working out how to solve Athens' debt crisis. The Nikkei dropped 2 percent on Wednesday as the bulk of companies on the Topix index went ex-dividend, with the index smashing through the psychologically important 9,000 support level as it recorded its biggest daily fall since June. Japanese firms with exposure to China are likely to come under pressure on Thursday after the Shanghai Composite Index plumbed 3-year lows on Wednesday. Exporters such as automakers are also threatened by rising anti-Japan sentiment over a territorial dispute that has forced firms to temporarily close stores and factories. . The S&P 500 marked its fifth straight loss on Wednesday, albeit after hitting a five-year high struck on Sept. 14, as investors shielded themselves from riskier assets with exposure to the euro zone and bought up defensive shares. The Nikkei is currently trailing gains in U.S. and European indexes, being up 5.3 percent on the year as of Sept. 26, compared to a 14.6 percent rise in the S&P 500 and a 12.8 percent gain in the STOXX Europe 600 index The Nikkei is expected to gain 12 percent this year, according to a Reuters poll of 22 analysts and fund managers conducted over the past week, reaching 9,500 by the end of December. > S&P 500 falls a 5th day as euro-zone tensions escalate > Euro declines on Spain woes as its bond yield tops 6 pct > Prices rise as euro zone fears resurface > Gold down but off two-week low, EU debt crisis eyed > Oil falls as Europe's crisis reinforces growth worries STOCKS TO WATCH - TOYOTA MOTOR CO Toyota is aiming to boost sales in Europe by 10,000 or more vehicles in 2012 from 822,000 a year ago, expanding market share to 4.5 percent and aiming to boost that to 5.5 percent over the next five years. - SUMITOMO RUBBER INDUSTRIES LTD Sumitomo Rubber said it will build seven plants in Turkey, Russia and Africa, bringing its total number of factories to 18, in an aim to have 37 percent of its tire sales from developing nations by 2020. - DAIEI INC Daiei, a supermarket chain operator, cut its operating profit forecast for the year ending Feb. 2013 by 3 percent to 843 billion yen ($10.8 billion) and said it now expected a net loss of 25.14 billion yen, down from a previous forecast of a 5.03 billion yen profit. - SHARP CORP Sharp may pull its solar panel business out of Europe and the United States as the cash-strapped company looks for ways to withdraw from money-losing businesses and cut costs, two sources told Reuters.