TOKYO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average is likelyto rebound on Friday from its lowest close in more than twomonths, but concerns over the quarterly earnings season meansthe benchmark is still on track for a fourth straight week oflosses.
Mobile operator Softbank Corpwill be in focus asit looks to buy roughly 70 percent of U.S. Sprint Nextel Corp
in a bold move that would make it a major player in theU.S. mobile market.
was likely to trade between 8,500 and8,650, after closing at 8,546.78 on Thursday, strategists said.Nikkei futures in Chicago
closed at 8,580 on Thursday,up 0.4 percent from the Osaka
close of 8,550.
"Later today in the U.S., J.P. Morgan
will releaseits earnings. Then we'll have more earnings next week, and theexpectations are not high. If results are disappointing, stockswill sell off, so that makes it difficult to buy now," saidKenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities.
Hirano said trading was likely to be active with the expiryof October Nikkei options.
On Thursday, the Nikkei fell 0.6 percent to its lowest closein more than two months, while the broader Topix
eased 0.4 percent to 713.95.
The benchmark Nikkei is down 3.6 percent so far this week,and has fallen 8 percent since hitting a four-month high onSept. 19, but it is still up 1.1 percent this year.
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STOCKS TO WATCH--SOFTBANK CORP
Softbank is looking to buy roughly 70 percent of SprintNextel Corp
in a bold move that would make it a majorplayer in the U.S. mobile market.--FAST RETAILING CO LTD
Fast Retailing forecast a 13.5 percent rise in operatingprofit for this financial year amid expectations growth fromoverseas outlets of its Uniqlo basic apparel and Japan cut-priceclothing g.u. chains will drive profits.
(Reporting by Dominic Lau and Lisa Twaronite; Editing by JohnMair)
Keywords: MARKETS JAPAN STOCKS/