JAPAN DAYBOOK: Jobless Figures, February Auto Sales

January unemployment figures at 8:30 a.m. may show if the economy is picking up this quarter as the central bank expects. The jobless rate unexpectedly fell last month to 4.9 percent, and economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect no change.

WHAT TO WATCH *January employment figures are released at 8:30 a.m. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the jobless rate to remain unchanged at 4.9 percent *Household spending figures for January at 8:30 a.m. *Nestle briefs on its business strategy for Japan in 2011 at 10 a.m. *The Ministry of Finance will sell 2.2 trillion yen in 10- year bonds. Results at 12:45 p.m. *Masamitsu Sakurai, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, gives a regular briefing at 1:30 p.m. *The Japan Automobile Dealers Association releases auto sales for February at 2 p.m. Toyota’s Prius lost its place as Japan’s best-selling car in January for the first time in 20 months, beaten by Honda’s Fit. *EU Ambassador to Japan Hans-Dietmar Schweisgut gives a press conference at the Japan National Press Club at 2:30 p.m. *The Gap briefs reporters on its new flagship store in Ginza, located at a site abandoned by Louis Vuitton, at 5 p.m.

EQUITY PREVIEW *Brother (6448 JT) will build a plant in Vietnam to make sewing machines. *Dentsu (4324 JT) said it will become Facebook’s sales and marketing representative in Japan. *Heiwa Real Estate will sell new shares to raise as much as 11.9 billion yen ($146 million). *JSP (7942 JT) will make Fagerdala Brasil a subsidiary for about 1.7 billion yen. *JSR (4185 JT) will spend 20 billion yen to build a rubber plant in Thailand to make tires, the Nikkei newspaper said. *Mitsubishi Heavy (7011 JT) won a 4.9 billion yen order for wind turbines, and a 20 billion yen order for an LNG tanker, the Nikkei newspaper said. *NGK Spark Plug (5334 JT) will sell 4.35 million existing shares to the public. *Nintendo (7974 JO) sold 371,000 of its 3DS portable video- game machines in the first two days on sale according to researcher Enterbrain. *Park24 (4666 JT) said first-quarter profit fell 35 percent. *Sony (6758 JT) agreed to pay 53 billion yen to Toshiba (6502 JT) for semiconductor fabrication equipment. *Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316 JT) will buy back and retire preferred shares for 210 billion yen.

ANALYST RATINGS FOR NIKKEI 225 COMPANIES *Shinsei Bank (8303 JT) raised to “outperform” at Credit Suisse *Shionogi (4507 JT) raised to “outperform” at Credit Suisse *Sumitomo Realty (8830 JT) cut to “neutral” at JPMorgan *Eisai (4523 JT) raised to “hold” at Citi *Mitsubishi Heavy (7011 JT) raised to “neutral” at Nikko Cordial

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