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Tokyo stocks expected to remain in tight range this week ahead of key events

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) —Tokyo stocks are expected to stay range-bound this week, amid a lack of market-moving factors, analysts say.

Last week, the benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 189.77 points, or 0.95 percent, to end at 20,118.86 on Friday.

Tokyo stocks kicked off the week firmer and moved in a limited range for the rest of the week. Its downside was underpinned by the weaker yen against the dollar, while it lacked strength to rise further amid an absence of buying incentives.

The rise on Wall Street on Thursday and Friday, when the Dow Jones industrial average hit a record high for two straight days, helped Tokyo stocks edge up but did not create similar momentum in the Tokyo market.

This week, analysts expect the Nikkei average to move between around 19,800 and 20,600.

“The market will likely stay firm and players are expected to focus on incentive-backed individual issues,” as it will be difficult to find direction, said Hiroaki Hiwada, strategist at Toyo Securities Co.

But he also noted that some upcoming key events may influence stocks to some extent.

U.S. retail sales in June, to be released later on Friday, as well China’s gross domestic product for April-June and the nation’s other economic indicators due out Monday, will be closely watched, Hiwada said.

Even so, it is unlikely that Tokyo stocks will be moved drastically by these events, with the market closed on Monday for a national holiday, which will “soften the impact,” he added.

Hiwada predicted that the Nikkei average will move between 19,800 and 20,500.

The Nikkei has “completed the stage of fluctuating around 20,000,” as it never dropped below the threshold last week, even at the lowest level of trading, said Mitsuo Shimizu, equity strategist at Japan Asia Securities Co.Speech

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