September 6, 2016 / 2:27 AM / 2 years ago

Nikkei extends gains as financials rebound

* Nikkei trades above 200-moving average for 1st time in 9 months

* Banks, insurers gain

* Amada tumbles after report co to cut return ratio to 50 pct

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks extended gains on Tuesday as financial stocks rebounded from the previous session, but trade was expected to be subdued as investors waited for U.S. markets to reopen after a holiday.

The Nikkei opened flat but was up 0.2 percent at 17,073.84 points by midmorning. It ended at a three-month high the previous day, and is trading above its 200-day moving average for the first time in nine months.

“When U.S. rates will be raised and what the Bank Of Japan will do with monetary policy are two key factors that investors are cautiously focused on ,” said Hiroaki Mino, director of investment information department at Mizuho Securities.

Banks and insurers attracted buying on Tuesday after investors sold on Monday on comments by BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda that the central bank was ready to further expand its already massive stimulus.

But without giving a more explicit hint about what the BOJ will do at its next review on Sept. 20-21, Kuroda left investors room to speculate that he may not further cut interest rates into negative territory after a backlash of criticism about some financial institutions’ businesses, traders said.

Mizuho Financial Group rose 1.0 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group gained 2.0 percent and Dai-ichi Insurance Co added 2.7 percent.

On the other hand, Amada Holdings tumbled 4.3 percent after the Nikkei business daily said it will lower its targeted total return ratio to at least 50 percent this fiscal year.

The broader Topix gained 0.5 percent to 1,351.04 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.5 percent to 12,151.00. (Editing by Kim Coghill)

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