Nikkei set to extend gains as yen weakens below 100 per dollar
TOKYO, July 3 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to open higher on Wednesday after the yen fell below the key 100-mark against the dollar, with the market on track for a fifth straight day of gains - the longest winning streak in four months. The Nikkei is likely to trade between 14,000 and 14,300, strategists said, after advancing 1.8 percent to a five-week high of 14,098.74 on Tuesday. It was the fourth straight day of gains for the benchmark, the best such stretch since mid-May. The broader Topix index also gained 1.8 percent to 1,171.84. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 14,170 on Tuesday, up 0.3 percent from the Osaka close of 14,130. The yen hit a one-month low against the dollar overnight and fell below the key 100-yen level for the first time since June 5, spurred by expectations of a reduction in the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus program. The pair last traded at 100.84 yen, according to EBS data. "A weak yen will definitely have positive effects on Japanese stocks, particularly on exporters," said Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex Inc. "However, the upside may be limited by some profit-taking after recent sharp gains." The benchmark Nikkei has risen almost 10 percent over the last four sessions as stronger U.S. and Japanese data offset some of the concerns over slowing growth in China and a pull back in U.S. stimulus. The recent gains have allowed the Nikkei to recoup some of the steep losses suffered since it scaled a 5-1/2 year high on May 23. The U.S. and China worries as well as disappointment over the Japanese government's growth strategy led to the huge selloff, which at one point sent Tokyo stocks into bear market territory. The index is up 14 percent since the Bank of Japan announced radical monetary stimulus on April 4 and has risen 36 percent this year.
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