Nikkei set to fall below 14,000 as yen strengthens; earnings in focus
TOKYO, July 29 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to fall for the fourth day in a row on Monday as the yen rose against the dollar, while caution over corporate earnings is likely to keep investors on the sidelines. Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 13,850 to 14,150 on Monday after falling 3.0 percent to 14,129.98 on Friday. If the index falls below 14,000, it will be the first time since July 4. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 13,945, down 1.3 percent from the close in Osaka of 14,130. "The Nikkei will probably drop below 14,000 quickly in early trade. If the yen rises against the dollar further during the session, selling in futures may drag down the cash market," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities. On Monday morning, the dollar traded at a four-week low of 97.79. A higher yen tends to make export-reliant Japan's products less competitive in the global market. Analysts also said that investors are reluctant to take positions before big events at home and abroad this week. "Investors are focusing on companies' earnings, and it may be difficult to take positions until they see the results of many exporters and blue chip companies this week," said Hiroichi Nishi, an assistant general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities. On Monday, Komatsu Ltd, Hitachi Construction Machinery Co and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group will report their first-quarter results. In the United States, investors will scrutinize the Federal Open Market Committee policy statement this Wednesday for any additional clues about the Fed's intended timeline for scaling back its quantitative easing.
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--Tokio Marine Holdings Inc Tokio Marine is seeking acquisitions in the United States and Mexico to spread out its risk, the CEO of Japan's largest property-casualty insurer by market value said, as rivals go after growth closer to home in Southeast Asia.
--ANA Holdings Inc ANA, which operates the world's biggest fleet of Boeing Co Dreamliners, said it found damage to the battery wiring on two 787 locator beacons during checks after the devices were identified as the likely cause of a fire on another aircraft in London this month.
--KDDI Corp KDDI is expected to post a record-high April-June group operating profit of roughly 160 billion yen ($1.63 billion), up 70 percent from a year ago, thanks to an increase in subscribers for Apple Inc.'s iPhone and larger data communication revenue, the Nikkei reported.