Japan-Markets on Tuesday, the 26th Dec.

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9439 Postings, 6991 Tage Zick-ZockJapan-Markets on Tuesday, the 26th Dec.

Tuesday December 25, 8:48 pm Eastern Time
Tokyo Stocks Mixed, Yen Boost Disappoints

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo stocks were mixed by late morning on Wednesday, with a further slide in the yen supporting Canon Inc and other major exporters but failing to lift the broader market in razor-thin trade.

Sparse participation from foreign investors in particular, with Wall Street off on Tuesday for Christmas, was said to be contributing to extremely light trade.

``The yen is boosting some of the techs and autos, but the size of that boost is clearly disappointing,'' said Masayoshi Okamoto, a trader at Jujiya Securities.

``If the yen softens well past 131 and Kyocera, Sony and others are still only up modestly, investors could become disheartened and take the Nikkei south.''

The benchmark Nikkei average rose 0.21 percent or 21.72 points to 10,276.53 by 8:25 p.m. EST Tuesday, while the capital-weighted TOPIX index lost 0.23 percent to 1,000.56.

Canon rose 1.14 percent to 4,450 yen after Japan's largest maker of office equipment said on Wednesday it expects its group net profit for the year ending this month to be bigger than its earlier forecast of 161 billion yen ($1.23 billion).

Among other major tech exporters to gain after the dollar hit a fresh three-year high of 131.02 yen in morning trade, electronics giant Sony Corp perked up 0.9 percent to 5,630 yen, and electronics parts maker Kyocera Corp added 1.34 percent to 8,310.

While a weaker yen can lift the value of overseas earnings and battle deflation, the market is also concerned a surge in the greenback would displease foreign investors by making their Japanese assets less attractive.

In the auto sector, Nissan Motor Co Ltd, Japan's number-two automaker, jumped 3.36 percent to 676 yen, while number-one ranked Toyota Motor Corp was unchanged at 3,170.

Major banking stocks inched higher after Daiwa Bank Holdings Inc said late on Tuesday that it would swap its shares with Asahi Bank Ltd on a one-to-one basis in a business integration due next year.

The conversion rate was in line with expectations, but the news gave relief to a market that had been concerned about the fate of Asahi and the planned holding company.

Asahi, the most heavily traded issue by volume on the first section, put on 4.17 percent to 75 yen, while Daiwa rose 2.74 percent to 75.

Elsewhere, brokers were extending Tuesday's tumble on fears that Argentina's default, combined with Enron Corp's collapse, would deter investors from putting money in risky assets.

Third-ranked Nikko Cordial Corp fell 1.27 percent to 543, while top brokerage Nomura Holdings Inc shed 0.75 percent to 1,585.

Telecoms shares were also weak, with NTT DoCoMo Inc slipping 2.03 percent to 1.45 million yen.

Japan's top mobile phone operator gave up 1.99 percent on Tuesday after it said late last Friday that it would buy new shares in AT&T Wireless Services Inc to maintain its 16 percent stake in the U.S. mobile operator.

Analysts said the price for the shares was too high and noted that DoCoMo has lost money on its current stake.

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