Nikkei set to gain on strong Wall St, optimism on Fed stimulus
TOKYO, July 12 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to rise on Friday, buoyed by a record finish on Wall Street and the generally upbeat mood on receding concerns of an imminent rollback of the Federal Reserve's stimulus. Market players said the benchmark Nikkei was likely to trade between 14,300 to 14,600 on the day. The benchmark rose 0.4 percent to 14,472.58 on Thursday. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 14,525, up 0.4 percent from the close in Osaka of 14,470. "The Nikkei is likely to extend yesterday's gains, helped by the global risk-on mood," said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management. Wall Street closed at record highs on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. central bank will keep a loose monetary policy for some time to lower the unemployment rate. "Investors will be cautiously watching foreign exchange and Asian stock markets throughout the trading hours," said Akino. The Japanese equity market has seen volatile trading in recent sessions on worries about slowing growth in China and the prospect of the Fed reducing its bond-buying programme in coming months. Still, the Nikkei is up 39 percent this year, buoyed by the Japanese government's sweeping stimulus aimed at pulling the world's third-biggest economy from two decades of stagnation. On the day, the pause in the yen's rebound against the dollar is also expected to support the Nikkei. The yen was quoted at 98.96 to the dollar in early Asian trade on Friday, according to EBS data, after rising to a two-week high of 98.20 yen on Thursday.
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