Nikkei steadies after hitting 2-mth high on ECB cuts; U.S. jobs eyed
* Nikkei flat but on track for biggest gain in 7 weeks * Growth-sensitive stocks rally * ECB policy decision lifts European and U.S. stocks * Focus turns to U.S. jobs data By Tomo Uetake TOKYO, June 6 (Reuters) - Japanese shares steadied on Friday after briefly climbing to a two-month high on Friday morning, as investors took a 'buy-the-rumour, sell-the-fact' approach after the European Central Bank cut rates to record lows in a well telegraphed move overnight. The benchmark Nikkei ended the morning session flat at 15,077.09, after rising as high as 15,144.34, a level last seen on April 3. Still, the index was headed for its biggest weekly gain in seven weeks. The market rose initially, tracking Wall Street after the ECB cut interest rates to record lows and pledged to do more if needed to fight off the risk of deflation. However, with the ECB steps largely factored in by investors, some profit taking likely kicked in, market players said. Technical signs of an overbought market after the rally of around eight percent in just over two weeks also checked buyers. The relative strength index rose above 70, a level seen as indicating an overbought territory. "We are at a crucial stage now to see whether we can climb up this wall of anxiety," said Yasuo Sakuma, portfolio manager at Bayview Asset Management. "We have technical signals showing an overheated market and there is U.S. payrolls data coming up. If we can get over this, that is to say if we can stay firmly above the 15,000 mark, we could see a nice summer rally after a bit of consolidation." Underlying support was evident on expectations the Japanese government will accelerate its push to make the public pension fund buy more stocks. Japanese Health Minister Norihisa Tamura said on Friday that he was instructed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to accelerate the asset allocation review by the country's $1.26 trillion public fund, the Government Pension Investment Fund. Tamura said he will urge the GPIF to complete the review process quickly by taking into account changes in Japan's economic environment. Growth-sensitive stocks were among the best performer. Sea transporters and miners, which have a relatively strong correlation with the health of the global economy, rose 1.4 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. Sumco Corp, among some of the shares showing a surge in interest, jumped as much as 9.9 percent to a 4-1/2-months high. It followed a local media report that the price of silicon wafer, its main product, steadied this quarter after two years of fall. The broader Topix added 0.2 percent to 1,234.60 by the midday break in moderate trade, with trading volume at 48.3 percent of full daily average for the past 90 days. The new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 edged up 0.1 percent to 11,248.40. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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