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Nikkei resumes rise as BOJ picks win first nod

JIJI

Stocks staged a sharp rebound Thursday, helped by buying after the Lower House accepted the government’s nominations for the top Bank of Japan posts.

The 225-issue Nikkei average closed up 141.53 points, or 1.16 percent, at 12,381.19, the highest closing level since Sept. 9, 2008. On Wednesday, the key market gauge dropped 75.15 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues climbed 6.75 points, or 0.65 percent, to end at 1,038.17, after falling 4.48 points the previous day.

Stocks rebounded moderately from the outset of Thursday’s trading supported by expectations for a recovery in the U.S. economy following better-than-expected retail sales for February.

But the Tokyo market’s topside remained heavy during morning trade, pressured by selling to cash in gains amid a sense of overheating after the recent rally.

The key indexes extended gains in the afternoon, led by futures buying on news that the lower chamber approved by a majority vote the government-proposed appointments of the next BOJ governor and deputy governors, brokers said.

Following the Lower House approval, the House of Councilors would also accept Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda as next BOJ governor and BOJ Executive Director Hiroshi Nakaso and Gakushuin University professor Kikuo Iwata as deputy BOJ governors.

Though the market already factored in their appointments, “still, investors welcomed the parliament confirmation of the nominees,” said Masashi Oguchi of Mito Securities Co.’s investment information department. The dollar’s resumed ascent above ¥96 also contributed to the afternoon rally, he added.

Realtors, megabanks and brokerages were buoyant amid growing hope for more powerful monetary easing by the central bank under Kuroda’s leadership, brokers said.

Winners overwhelmed losers 1,020 to 554 in the TSE’s first section, while 130 issues were unchanged. Volume fell to 2.862 billion shares from Wednesday’s 2.997 billion.

JGBs rise on dip-buying

Japanese government bonds rose on buying on dips Thursday, but the top side was heavy on concerns over precariously high prices.

The lead June futures contract on 10-year JGBs finished up 0.06 point from Wednesday at 145.17. Turnover dwindled to 23,842 contracts from 24,886.