Nikkei rises after Wall Street gains; market awaits US jobs data

* Nikkei down 0.2 pct for the week * Nikon dives after cutting forecast * Resona outperforms on report that Nippon Life considers taking a stake By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Japanese shares rose on Friday after Wall Street gained and oil prices rebounded, but investors remained cautious ahead of the U.S. jobs report later in the day, which could impact the yen.

The Nikkei share average gained 0.8 percent to 17,643.19 points, after falling 1 percent on the previous day. For the week, the Nikkei has fallen 0.2 percent.

Market participants hop the U.S. job data will give further clues on the economic growth outlook and the timing of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s move to raise interest rates.

Economists polled by Reuters expected U.S. employers to add 234,000 workers in January, below December’s increase of 252,000. The jobless rate was expected to remain at a 6-1/2 year low of 5.6 percent, while average hourly earnings was estimated to show a rise of 0.3 percent following the previous month’s surprise 0.2 percent drop.

“If the data is strong, instant reaction in the Japanese market should be positive because the dollar will likely rise against the yen,” said Toru Ibayashi, executive director of wealth management at UBS.

But he also noted that in a bigger perspective, there are worries that the U.S. rate hike can cause liquidity to shrink in the global market, which can hit the Japanese market indirectly in the short-term.

Resona Holdings Inc jumped 2.4 percent to a one-month high after the Yomiuri newspaper reported that Nippon Life Insurance Co is in the final stages of talks to take a stake in the bank.

Exporters were steady, with the dollar being little changed at 117.48 yen. Toyota Motor Corp rose 0.1 percent, Honda Motor Co added 0.9 percent and Tokyo Electron Ltd soaring 2.5 percent.

Bucking the strength, Nikon Corp tumbled as much as 10 percent to more than a three-month low after the company cut its earnings forecast for the year ending March.

The broader Topix rose 0.6 percent to 1,418.93, and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.7 percent to 12,864.92.

(Editing by Kim Coghill)

Nikkei Futures

nikkeifutures.org@imediaone.com

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