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Nikkei ends above 19,000 for first time in two months


The Nikkei average ended above 19,000 for the first time in some two months on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Friday on hopes for the government’s economic stimulus measures.

The 225-issue Nikkei average advanced 147.39 points, or 0.78 percent, at 19,083.10, finishing above 19,000 for the first time since Aug. 28.

On Thursday, the key market gauge was up 32.69 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues climbed 11.09 points, or 0.72 percent, to close at 1,558.20, after rising 0.08 points the previous day.

The Nikkei average jumped over 250 points at one point in the afternoon on index futures-led purchases after news that the Japanese government has started to consider a ¥3 trillion supplementary budget for fiscal 2015, brokers said.

In the morning session, the key indexes fluctuated narrowly around the previous day’s closing level, with investors sitting on the fence prior to the announcement of the outcome of the Bank of Japan’s Policy Board meeting Friday.

After the BOJ decided to keep its monetary policy intact, the Nikkei average tumbled over 100 points in early afternoon trading on selling in disappointment.

After the initial selling ran its course, however, the key market gauge popped up into positive territory thanks to buying on dips and buybacks and accelerated its upswing.

The impact of the BOJ’s decision was limited as no policy change had been widely expected, brokers said.

However, analysts say that many investors believe the central bank will be forced to take additional easing steps in the near future in view of the recent economic situation in Japan.

The market was underpinned by “hopes that the BOJ will launch easing measures in November,” said Tomoaki Fujii, head of the corporate research division at Takagi Securities Co.

The yen’s easing against the dollar in the afternoon also spurred buying of export-oriented issues, brokers said.

The Nikkei average is expected to begin consolidating its downside on hopes for the BOJ’s additional easing and the government’s supplementary budget, they said.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,057 to 724 on the TSE’s first section, while 125 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 2.67 billion shares from Thursday’s 2.73 billion shares.

Heightened hopes for an increase in infrastructure development projects and public works shored up general contractors, such as Shimizu, Kajima and Taisei.

Shionogi shot up 11.40 percent after a media report about its planned commercialization of an all-new drug that can cure influenza in one day.

Oriental Land, the operator of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, jumped 6.92 percent on its better-than-expected group operating profit in April-September.

By contrast, NEC tumbled 8.76 percent, a day after the electronics maker announced its worse-than-expected first-half earnings and full-year estimate, brokers said.

Also on the minus side were game maker Nintendo, mobile carrier SoftBank Group and camera maker Canon.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average advanced 190 points to close at 19,090.