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With selling pressure easing, the Tokyo stock market could open October on a positive note at the start of the fiscal second half.

Key downside factors for the market in recent weeks were the volatility of the New York stock market and Japanese companies’ selloffs ahead of the book-closing for the fiscal first half.

Worries about those negative factors have weighed heavily on investor sentiment, keeping the benchmark Nikkei average hovering around 16,000.

Shrugging off those worries, investors are beginning to shop for bargains after several weeks of selloffs.

In a nutshell, the Nikkei average now appears likely to move between 15,500 and 17,500 in the coming month.

The catalyst for the recent correction of New York share prices was earnings concerns.

Investors have also been concerned about the euro’s weakness, which threatens to leave multinational corporations with considerable foreign exchange losses.

Still, there is potential for the long-battered euro to make a strong rebound and, hence, greater returns on investments in euro-based instruments.

Worries also lingered over rising wages and growing overheads in U.S. industries that have caused major layoffs.

Layoffs averaged 60,594 workers a month in the July-August period, up from the monthly average of 37,237 in the first half of this year.

Even growth-oriented corporations have revised their earnings projections downward.

The steep runup in crude oil prices has also unsettled the New York market seriously.

Behind the sudden upsurge in crude oil prices were speculative dealings rather than actual supply shortages.

Judging from the per-barrel price range of $22 to $28 targeted by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the surge may prove to be a one-time event and calm could soon return to Wall Street.

With speculation about earnings out of the way, investors are turning their attention to the November presidential election.

The Tokyo market could also begin testing higher ground shortly.

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