Japan's Nikkei stock average is expected to move in a narrow range on Wednesday, with profit-taking likely to prevent the index from going further beyond 17,000.

Among the news likely to move the market is Citigroup's buyout of Nikko Cordial Corp.

Citigroup said on Tuesday it would buy out minority shareholders in Nikko Cordial for $4.6 billion, as part of the financial giant's push into the world's second-largest economy.

Also in the news were Toshiba Corp and JFE Holdings Inc. The Nikkei business daily reported on Wednesday that the electronics group and the steelmaker have agreed to alliance in small and midsize steam turbines for power plants.

The Nikkei is likely to be traded around 17,000. It recovered to that level yesterday, but profit-taking is waiting there, said Masayoshi Yano, senior manager of investment information at Tokai Tokyo Securities.

Whether the index can go beyond this level depends on foreign investors.

Market participants said the benchmark Nikkei average will likely move between 16,900 and 17,150 on Wednesday.

Nikkei futures traded in Chicago finished Tuesday at 17,090, unchanged from the Osaka (JNIc1: Quote, Profile, Research) close.

The Nikkei finished Tuesday up 1.2 percent at 17,046.78, the index's first close above 17,000 since Aug 9.

U.S. blue-chip stocks fell on Tuesday as investors booked profits following a record reached in the previous session.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.3 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was almost flat and the Nasdaq Composite Index inched up 0.2 percent.

The dollar was traded around at 115.70 yen after edging up to 115.81 yen in New York.


-- Nikko Cordial Corp

Citigroup said it would buy out minority shareholders in scandal-hit Japanese brokerage Nikko Cordial Corp for $4.6 billion, as part of the financial giant's push into the world's second-largest economy.

Citigroup said Nikko minority shareholders will receive Citigroup shares with an expected value of 1,700 yen, a 16 percent premium to Tuesday's clothing price.

-- Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd

Murata Manufacturing, an electronics parts maker, is worried the global credit crunch could dampen appetite for flat TVs, slowing the pace of growth, its president said on Tuesday.

-- Fast Retailing Co Ltd

Fast Retailing said on Tuesday that same-store sales at its Uniqlo chain of casual-clothing stores posted their sharpest drop in 20 months in September due to unseasonably hot weather and high year-earlier sales.

-- Hitachi Ltd

Chubu Electric Power Co. said on Tuesday that Hitachi would bear all the costs for repairing a Hitachi-made nuclear turbine at the No. 5 unit at its Hamaoka plant in western Japan.

-- Osaka Securities Exchange

The Japan Securities Dealers Association will likely consider selling its stake in the Jasdaq Securities Exchange to the Osaka Securities Exchange as part of a realignment of the country's stock exchanges, the Nikkei business daily reported on Wednesday.