CORRECTED-Nikkei ekes out gains, may extend winning streak to 11th day

viernes 29 de mayo de 2015 02:15 GYT
 

(Corrects fourth paragraph to say Nikkei has gained 5.6 percent
so far in May, not in June)
    * Nikkei may extend rally into 11th day, longest since 1988
    * Market looks set to log fifth straight month of gains
    * Power, gas companies one of the best performer this month
    * Yahoo Japan jumps on China business plan

    By Hideyuki Sano
    TOKYO, May 29 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average edged
up on Friday on hopes of better shareholder returns, looking set
to extend its winning streak to 11 straight sessions and its
fifth straight month of gains.
    The Nikkei average rose 0.3 percent to 20,605.68
points by midday, hitting a 15-year high.
    If it closes up on the day, it would mark the longest
winning streak since February 1988.
    It has gained 1.7 percent on the week so far and 5.6 percent
in May.
    "Everybody is cautious because the market could see a
correction any moment. Nonetheless, the market is really firm,"
said Toshiyuki Kanayama, market analyst at Monex Securities.
    The broader Topix rose 0.2 percent to 1,675.66,
having risen 5.2 percent so far this month.
    Traders say foreign investors have been buying Japanese
stocks, which have outperformed many of their peers in the
developed world. U.S. S&P500 rose 1.7 percent so far this
month. 
    The rally in Japanese has been driven by improvements, both
realised and expected, in Japanese companies' shareholder
return, as well as optimism on the Japanese economy.
    Nabtesco rose 4.1 percent after the company said it
will buy back 3.4 percent of its outstanding shares.
    Mizuho Financial has risen 17.9 percent so far this
month, despite its 0.5 percent fall on Friday morning, helped by
hopes it may announce share buyback.
    Electric power and gas companies, another strong
performer this month, rose 0.5 percent on Friday, extending
their monthly gains to 11.5 percent.
    They have been helped by the inclusion of a few power
companies to smart beta indexes -- a new type of stock strategy
indexes based on themes such as low volatility shares.
    Power companies have been also helped by hopes that some of
nuclear power plants will be restarted later this year.
    But Kyushu Electric Power hit a snag on Friday,
after a volcanic eruption in southern Japan raised worries the
company's plan to re-start a nuclear power plant may be
derailed.
    Although its Sendai plant is 160 km away from the volcano,
critics have said the plant's proximity to other volcanos is a
risk.
    Its shares were down 0.1 percent on Friday, having erased
earlier gains.
    Elsewhere Yahoo Japan rose 8.8 percent following
report by the Nikkei news that the web portal company will team
up with Chinese net shopping giant Alibaba to expand in
Chinese market. 
    The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.2 percent to
15,142.99.

 (Editing by Kim Coghill)