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Nikkei rises 1.3 pct, set for best Feb since 1991
2012年2月29日 / 凌晨2点58分 / 6 年前

Nikkei rises 1.3 pct, set for best Feb since 1991

* Nikkei climbs 1.3 pct to above 9,800
    * Heads for best February performance in two decades
    * Panasonic climbs after naming new president
    * Elpida slumps 97.6 pct after bankruptcy filing

    By Dominic Lau	
    TOKYO, Feb 29 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
climbed above 9,800 on Wednesday for the first time since last
August on the back of Wall Street gains, extending a rally of
more than 10 percent this month and heading for its best
February performance in two decades.	
    The Nikkei advanced 1.3 percent to 9,846.46 by the
midday break, a level not seen since early August and pushing
closer to the key 10,000-mark. 	
    "With the market behaving at the moment, we are still seeing
gaijin (foreign investor) flows coming into Japan," a trader at
a foreign brokerage said. "That has been ongoing for the last
four weeks. We think it will continue because people underweigh
Japan. We have a lot of Asian-based clients talking about buying
Japan. We must be close to hitting the top." 	
    The benchmark is up nearly 12 percent this month, on track
for its best February performance since 1991, shrugging off
negative news from Elpida Memory Inc's bankruptcy
filing this week.	
    Shares of Elpida, Japan's last remaining PC memory
chipmaker, slumped 97.6 percent to 6 yen, however . 	
    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 surged 5.1 percent, while Sumco Corp
, the world's No.2 maker of wafers used to make
semiconductors, jumped 5.7 percent and Tokyo Electron Ltd
 added 1.6 percent.	
   Other major movers included Panasonic Corp
, up 3.5 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 3.1 percent after it agreed
to buy some production equipment from hard-drive manufacturer
Western Digital Corp in March. 	
    The broader Topix added 1 percent to 846.63. Trading
volume on the main board after the morning session was 80.7
percent of its full daily average for the past 90 days.	
    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 84.5, 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 4.1 percent from the current level.	
    Overnight, the Dow Jones industrial average closed
above 13,000 for the first time since May 2008 and the S&P 500
 also hit a milestone, as buoyant U.S. consumer confidence
data and a sharp drop in oil prices nudged the nearly five-month
rally forward.	
    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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