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Nikkei fails to hold 9,800, best Feb since 1991
2012年2月29日 / 早上6点58分 / 6 年前

Nikkei fails to hold 9,800, best Feb since 1991

* Nikkei ends flat, fails to top 9,800
    * Benchmark logs best February performance since 1991
    * Panasonic climbs after naming new president
    * Elpida plunges 97.2 pct after bankruptcy filing

    By Mari Saito and Dominic Lau	
    TOKYO, Feb 29 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average ended
flat on Wednesday and failed to top the key 9,800 level as
investors took profits before a liquidity operation by the
European Central Bank, but the index still logged its best
February performance in two decades.	
    The Nikkei ended flat at 9,723.24 after earlier
jumping as high as 9,866.41.	
    "We went too far yesterday. We are taking some profits here.
People are not really on the bull market wagon, so they are
trying to make some money and then get out as long as they can,"
a trader said. "Volumes are okay, but not great."	
    The benchmark gained 10.5 percent this month, logging its
best February performance since 1991, shrugging off negative
news from Elpida Memory Inc's bankruptcy filing this
    A Reuters poll showed that Japanese fund managers turned
bullish on stocks in February after surprise easing steps
announced by the Bank of Japan earlier this month boosted risk
appetite and underpinned investor confidence. 	
    Domestic fund managers raised weightings in Japanese
equities for three months in a row to 35.1 percent in February,
the highest level since the survey began in 1995.
    Shares of Elpida, Japan's last remaining PC memory
chipmaker, tanked 97.2 percent to 7 yen.	
    Chip-related shares jumped after Daiwa Securities Capital
Markets upgraded the sector to "positive" from "neutral,"
helping them easily recover ground after the sector fell a day
earlier on the back of Elpida.	
    Advantest Corp rose 2.3 percent, while Sumco Corp
, the world's No.2 maker of wafers used to make
semiconductors, jumped 1.5 percent.	
    Other big gainers included Panasonic Corp, up 1.5
percent after the electronics company named the head of its
loss-making TV business as its new president and pledged to get
its TV division back on track within two years. 	
    Toshiba Corp advanced 1.4 percent to a four-month
intraday high of 356 yen after it agreed to buy some production
equipment from hard-drive manufacturer Western Digital Corp
 in March. 	
    The broader Topix shed 0.3 percent to 835.96.	
    With investors aggressively moving out of Elpida, trading
volume on the main board rose to the highest since Aug. 9, with
roughly 3.06 billion shares changing hands on Wednesday, up from
2.51 billion shares on Tuesday.	
    Elpida accounted for a little over 20 percent of all the
volume on the main board.  	
    Technical indicators showed the Nikkei was ripe for a
pullback. The index was deep in "over-bought" territory, with
the 14-day relative strength index at 82, while the slow
stochastic, a short-term momentum indicator, also pointed to a
    "From a technical view point, the market is overheated. We
may see a correction in the very short term," said Hisao
Matsuura, equity strategist at Nomura.	
    "Fundamentally, Japan is improving and investors will buy
Japanese equities...which will push the market higher," he said,
adding that a weaker yen would also help.	
    Nomura has a Nikkei target of 10,250 for 2012, or an upside
of 5.1 percent from the current level.	
    The dollar was last trading at 80.30 yen, off the
nine-month high of 81.661 yen hit earlier this week.	
    "Everyone is out there saying that the market is
'overheated' and warning about a correction but that momentum is
what's helping the benchmark return to last year's highs. You
have to keep in mind that these gains are still a return to last
July's levels," said Hiroyuki Fukunaga, CEO of investment
advisory firm, Investrust.	
    The Nikkei failed to close above an important chart
resistance looming around 9,835, formed by the 61.8 percent
retracement of its slide from the 2011 high hit in February to
that year's low plumbed in November.	
    Global equities have been buoyed by a run of strong U.S.
economic data, the European Central Bank's nearly half a
trillion euro liquidity injection late last year and further
easing steps by the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England.	
    According to Thomson Reuters Datastream, the Topix carries a
12-month forward price-to-book ratio of 0.91, much cheaper than
S&P 500's 1.94 and the STOXX Europe 600's 1.35.	
    Investors will focus on Wednesday on the size of the ECB's
longer-term refinancing operation gross allotment, as well as
net new liquidity. A Reuters poll showed 30 euro money market
traders expected the ECB to allot 500 billion euros ($671.18

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