Nikkei set to gain to 7-1/2-week high on strong global lead, weaker yen
TOKYO, July 16 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to reach its highest level in 7-1/2-weeks on Tuesday, helped by gains in Wall Street and Asian equities, while a weaker yen would also provide a boost to blue-chip exporters. Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 14,600 to 14,800 on Tuesday. Tokyo was closed on Monday for a public holiday. On Friday, the benchmark Nikkei rose 0.2 percent to 14,506.25, its highest close since May 24, while the broader Topix advanced 0.6 percent to 1,201.99. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 14,710 on Monday, up 1.7 percent from the close in Osaka of 14,470. "As U.S. stocks edged up to new all-time highs, the yen got softer again, and as there are no major domestic events scheduled this week, it's only reasonable to predict that the Nikkei will test a new (7-1/2-week) high." said Kenichi Hirano, a strategist at Tachibana Securities. "However, there are some signs of overheating in the market. Profit-taking can set in anytime." On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 on Monday finished at record closing highs for the third consecutive session. China's annual GDP growth, published on Monday, slowed to 7.5 percent in April to June, in line with expectations, and following growth of 7.7 percent in the January-March period. Asian stocks rose on relief that growth was not lower after a surprise fall in exports in June. The yen was quoted at 100.03 yen to the dollar in early Asian trade on Tuesday after reaching a two-week high of 98.20 on Thursday.
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