Friday, November 25, 2011

Nikkei set to slip on euro zone debt fears

TOKYO (Nov 25): The Nikkei share average is set to slip and hover near 8,100 on Friday after statements by German and French ministers convinced investors that euro zone leaders were no closer to a consensus on how to contain the region's debt crisis.

"Investors are going to continue to sell following European stocks and lack of any more clarity from leaders after the meeting," said Hiroichi Nishi, equity general manager for SMBC Nikko Securities.

The Nikkei is expected to trade in a range of 8,100 to 8,250 on Friday, strategists said.

Nishi said market participants were hoping that the Bank of Japan would buy exchange-traded funds to prop up the market.

European shares fell for the sixth consecutive session in low volume on Thursday after German Chancellor Angela Merkel stood firm on her opposition to issuance of euro bonds and said the European Central Bank cannot take a more decisive role in stemming the debt crisis.

France has called for the central bank to intervene massively to counter a market stampede out of euro zone government bonds.

German bonds fell to their lowest level in nearly a month after Wednesday's auction, as borrowing costs of almost all euro zone states, even France, Austria and the Netherlands, have spiked in the last two weeks.

On Thursday, the Nikkei tumbled 1.8 percent to 8,165.18, a two-and-a-half-year low, while the broader Topix index ''lost 1.6 percent to 706.08.

U.S. markets were closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. On Wednesday, Wall Street fell for its sixth day with U.S. financials leading the losses. ' Reuters


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