/

Nikkei logs sharp surge on Wall Street rebound

JIJI

Stocks rallied sharply Friday, boosted by purchases on the back of Wall Street’s rebound and the weaker yen.

The Nikkei 225 average shot up 307.29 points, or 2.17 percent, to end at 14,462.41. The Topix 26.77 points, or 2.30 percent, to 1,189.14.

Stocks headed sharply higher from the outset of trading following an overnight rally in U.S. equities.

Investors also took heart from the yen’s weakening against the dollar and the euro.

After the initial buying ran its course, however, the TSE’s upside was limited amid a wait-and-see mood before the release later Friday of the U.S. government’s employment data for January.

In retreating to the sideline, investors also pointed to Sunday’s Tokyo gubernatorial election, brokers said. One of the key issues of the election is whether Japan should stop using nuclear power.

Still, stock prices extended gains moderately from the middle of afternoon trading, driven by buybacks and index futures-led buying as the yen eased further against other major currencies, brokers said.

As for the U.S. employment data, the consensus estimate in the market is an increase of some 180,000 nonfarm jobs from the previous month.

Analysts also said the results may be lower than the projection due to the impact of a major cold wave.

“Stocks are likely to come under heavy selling temporarily if the nonfarm payroll growth falls short of 100,000,” said Ayako Terada, vice president at Nomura Securities Co.’s investment research and investor services department.

Market reaction to a figure that beats the estimate is hard to predict, an official at a foreign brokerage said. Stocks could still fall due to concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve may speed up the pace of tapering asset purchases under its quantitative easing policy, the official said.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,587 to 163 in the first section, while 30 issues were unchanged. Volume dipped to 2.692 billion shares from Thursday’s 2.719 billion.

JGBs fall further

Japanese government bonds dropped further Friday, pressured by weaker U.S. Treasuries and higher Tokyo stocks.

The lead March futures contract on 10-year JGBs closed down 0.10 point from Thursday at 144.70.

Volume decreased to 28,875 contracts from 31,882.