Nikkei seen falling below 13,000 on weak Wall St, stronger yen
TOKYO, June 13 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to fall below 13,000 on Thursday after U.S. stocks weakened on worries that the Federal Reserve may trim its stimulus programme, while a stronger yen is likely to hurt exporters. Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 12,800 and 13,100 on Thursday after falling 0.2 percent to 13,289.32 the previous day. It dipped below the psychologically important mark of 13,000 earlier on Wednesday. Nikkei June futures in Chicago closed at 13,000, down 2.1 percent from the close in Osaka of 13,280. Analysts said sentiment was hurt by the yen's strengthening towards 95 to the dollar, the upper limit of the 90-95 yen range at which many exporters have based their assumptions for their earnings this fiscal year. A stronger yen erodes exporters' overseas earnings when repatriated and hurts their competitiveness by making their products more expensive. "The market is extremely sensitive with foreign exchange levels. If the dollar nears 95 yen again, there will likely be a sharp sell-off," said Kenichi Hirano, a strategist at Tachibana Securities. On Wednesday, the dollar fell to 95.13 yen, its lowest level since April 4. It last traded at 95.91. But other market participants noted that there is some sense of security that if the market drops sharply, the Bank of Japan will take necessary steps to support the market. "There are hopes that the BOJ will buy ETFs when the market is weak," said Hiroichi Nishi, an assistant general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities. On Wednesday, the BOJ bought 19.8 billion yen ($207 million)in exchange traded funds and 100 million yen worth of J-REITs to support the market. The Nikkei has fallen nearly 17 percent since May 23, when the index hit a 5 1/2-year high, triggered by concerns over slowing China growth and the U.S. Federal Reserve scaling back its massive stimulus. Investors have also been disappointed with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's growth strategy to revive the world's third-largest economy. But the index is still up 7.5 percent since April 4 when the BOJ announced sweeping stimulus measures, and has risen 28 percent so far this year.
> Wall St slides as worry lingers over future of stimulus
> Dollar falls broadly as uncertain Fed outlook weighs
> Long-dated Treasuries prices slip amid debt supply
> Gold rebounds from 3-week lows as equities slide
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