Tokyo stocks seen staying solid this week, while Nikkei average may top 23,000

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tokyo stocks are expected to hold firm this week, analysts say, noting the possibility that the benchmark Nikkei average may top 23,000.

Last week, the 225-issue Nikkei average rose 268.18 points, or 1.19 percent, to close at 22,819.03 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday.

After a sluggish start, the Nikkei average advanced for three straight sessions though Friday as the 30-issue Dow Jones industrial average hit record highs on Wall Street.

Analysts expect the Nikkei average to move between 22,400 and 23,400 this week, predicting that the market’s external condition will stay in good shape.

They say the Nikkei average will cross the threshold of 23,000 in a best-case scenario. The stock gauge last finished above the level in January 1992.

U.S. economic indicators due out this week are “expected to be generally solid,” said Mitsuo Shimizu, equity strategist at Japan Asia Securities Co.

But “investors cherry-pick only what stands out,” Shimizu said, adding that economic data have impacts on the market when they are better than market expectations, or vice versa.

The U.S. Institute for Supply Management is slated to announce its non-manufacturing activity index for November on Tuesday, while Automatic Data Processing Inc.’s employment data for the same month will be released the following day.

In the latter half of this week, however, a wait-and-see mood may prevail ahead of the release of the U.S. government’s jobs data for November on Friday after the Tokyo market’s closing, Shimizu said.

Another factor likely to contribute to the mood is concerns over the course of debates in the U.S. Congress on whether to raise the government’s debt ceiling, he added.

Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co. also said investors will be cautious about the U.S. debt talks.Speech

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