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Japanese Stocks Likely to Fall Broadly on Dubai Worries

CNBC with wires
Thursday, 26 Nov 2009 | 7:07 PM ET

Japan's Nikkei average is likely to fall broadly on Friday after debt problems in Dubai hit financial markets, dragging European shares down to their worst daily loss in seven months.

Wall Street was closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, but U.S. stock futures were down about 2 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index dropped 3.3 percent.

Toshiba may draw attention after two sources close to the Japanese firm said it submitted the highest bid for Areva's transmission and distribution (T&D) unit at 4.5 billion euros ($6.8 billion).

"There are growing concerns that the impact of the Dubai news may further spread, with European shares having ended sharply lower and U.S. stock futures also down," said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equity marketing at Nikko Cordial Securities. "Investors will be cautious because while Japan will unlikely be directly affected by the Dubai situation, if it triggers fall in global stocks, Japan will be also impacted."

Dubai said on Wednesday it wanted creditors of Dubai World and property group Nakheel to agree a debt standstill as it restructures Dubai World, the conglomerate that spearheaded the emirate's breakneck growth.

Banking stocks came under particular pressure because of potential exposure to any bad debt in the Gulf, as did shares in European car companies, some of which are part-owned by sovereign wealth funds from the region.

The benchmark Nikkei is likely to trade between 9,150 and 9,400 on Friday, market players said. It dipped 0.6 percent the previous day to end at 9,383.24, its lowest close since mid-July.

Investors will continue to watch the currency market after the dollar tumbled to a fresh 14-year low against the yen, analysts said.

The dollar/yen fell below 86.00 yen in early Asia trade.

Investors fret about a stronger yen as it eats into exporters' profits when repatriated.

Stocks to Watch

Panasonic said it will target double-digit overseas sales growth in each of the next three business years, giving a glimpse of the business plan it is due to issue early next year.

Separately, Panasonic said it and its display unit MT Picture Display are under EU investigation ove their cathode ray tube (CRT) business.

Nippon Steel, the world's second-biggest steelmaker, said it plans to boost exports of construction-use steel, aiming to tap burgeoning infrastructure projects in emerging markets.

Electronics and entertainment conglomerate Sony expects 3D TVs to account for up to 50 percent of its total TV shipments in the financial year to March 2013, a leading executive said.

Disco, a maker of semiconductor grinding and cutting equipment, said on Thursday it would issue up to 10 billion yen ($115.8 million) in convertible euroyen bonds to help finance construction of several manufacturing plants.

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