Nikkei choppy on mixed cues from global data; Rakuten falls on M&A news

domingo 7 de septiembre de 2014 22:37 GYT

* Investors cautious after mixed set of global data
    * SoftBank rises on news Alibaba's IPO price seen
    * Rakuten falls on worries about recent hefty capital

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks were modestly
higher in choppy early trade on Monday, as mixed signals from
China trade numbers and soft Japanese and U.S. data checked
investors' risk appetite. 
    The Nikkei was up 0.2 percent at 15,695.02 for the
mid-morning close, not too far from its seven-month high of
15,829.38 hit last week.
    Investors tracked gains in U.S. stocks on Friday after
weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data was taken as a sign that the
Federal Reserve may not begin raising interest rates soon.
    "The market is relieved that it looks like we are in a
'Goldilocks' state," said Takatoshi Itoshima, chief portfolio
manager at Commons Asset Management. "It's not too hot or cold
so the market is in a comfortable sweet spot."
    Meanwhile, revised Japanese GDP report showed the economy
contracted more than initially expected. And in China, data
showed export rose more than expected in August while imports
unexpectedly fell, pushing the trade surplus to a record high
for the second consecutive month.  
    "The China data (strong exports, weak imports) shows that
the global economy is recovering while the Chinese economy is
showing a weaker-than-expected recovery," said Hikaru Sato, a
senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities. 
    "But the impact to the Japanese market is limited," as the
dollar remains above 105 yen, which is beneficial for exporters'
earnings, he said.
    Index heavy-weight SoftBank Corp, which has more
than 30 percent stake in Alibaba, rose 2.4 percent and
contributed a hefty 17 points to the Nikkei index on news that
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd IPO-BABA.N expects to price its
initial public offering between $60 and $66 a share.
    Rakuten Inc dropped 4.0 percent after the Nikkei
newspaper reported that the Japanese online retailer is
finalising a deal to buy U.S. rebate site operator Ebates for
more than 100 billion yen ($951 million). 
   Fund managers said that Rakuten's move to tap into overseas
markets is seen as a positive, but some remain cautious about
its aggressive investment strategy.
    "The company's basic direction on M&As is positive. But
since the company has been very active about M&As, we are
concerned about how soon it can make profit out of those
investments," said a fund manager who owns Rakuten shares.
    Exporters pulled back after the dollar retreated to 105.20
yen from a six-year high of 105.71 marked on Friday.
    Toyota Motor Corp dropped 0.1 percent, Honda Motor
Co <7267.T. shed 0.1 percent and Panasonic Corp 
declined 0.2 percent.
    The broader Topix rose 0.4 percent to 1,298.31, and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.3 percent to