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Nikkei manages to eke out modest rebound

JIJI

The Nikkei 225 average rose modestly Tuesday, helped by late buying on dips on the back of a halt in the yen’s strengthening.

The Nikkei climbed 23.80 points to end at 14,225.37 after slumping 126.37 points Friday.

Meanwhile, the Topix closed 0.45 point lower at 1,182.58 after falling 11.23 points Friday.

The TSE was closed Monday for Culture Day.

Stocks spurted at the start of the week on the heels of a rally on Wall Street overnight.

After the initial buying ran its course, however, the market lost steam and plunged into minus territory in midmorning as the yen firmed against the dollar.

In the early afternoon, the main indexes briefly popped into plus territory, buoyed by buying on dips thanks to a halt in the yen’s appreciation, brokers said.

Both indicators repeated minor fluctuations almost for the rest of the session amid a spreading wait-and-see mood prior to releases of earnings reports this week from such key companies as Toyota, brokers said, adding the Nikkei attracted renewed buying toward the close.

April-September corporate earnings announcements have already peaked, “but investors still find it difficult to step up purchases before seeing the results of remaining major firms such as Toyota,” which is set to release its fiscal 2013 first-half statement Wednesday, said Nobuyuki Fujimoto, a market analyst at SBI Securities Co.

Players also retreated to the sidelines because the Financial Services Agency’s move Tuesday to ease restrictions on short-selling fueled their worries about a market sell-off, said Hiroichi Nishi, equity general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

Nissan Motor’s full-year profit warning Friday has dampened market sentiment, brokers said.

Falling issues slightly outnumbered rising ones 810 to 806 in the first section, while 141 issues were unchanged. Volume decreased to 2.625 billion shares from Friday’s 2.727 billion.

Engineering firm MODEC rose 3.87 percent to snap a four-session losing streak after a newspaper report Tuesday that the company concluded a deal to build a large oil output facility in Brazil.

JGBs slip before auction

Japanese government bonds lost ground Tuesday, pressured by selling to adjust positions ahead of Wednesday’s auction of a new 10-year JGB issue.

The lead December contract on 10-year JGBs closed down 0.10 point from Friday at 144.97.