Nikkei gains 1.9 pct; exporters jump on easing call

Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:12pm EST

* Nikkei touches 9,000 for the first time since Nov. 7
    * Nissan, Canon, Nikon among exporters up more than 5 pct
    * Kirin falls 3 pct on news it may buy F&N food business
    * Trading volumes healthy, flows pick up -  brokers
    * PGM Holdings soars on tender offer for Accordia

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
jumped 1.9 percent on Friday to its highest level in more than a
week, after the leader of Japan's main opposition party, seen as
likely to become premier after an election next month, called
for more monetary policy easing.
    The call by Shinzo Abe, a former prime minister, for the
central bank to push interest rates to zero or below zero to
spur lending has pushed the yen to a 6-1/2 month low, sending
shares in exporters sharply higher.
    Exporters had been battered by worries about the U.S. fiscal
cliff and Europe's debt crisis and several jumped more than 5 
p ercent including Canon Inc, Nikon Corp and
Nissan Motor Co Ltd.
    "We see a little bit of our flows picking up today," said
Mattia Ciancaleoni, director of equity sales at Citigroup.
    At the midday break, the Nikkei was 166 points
higher at 8,995.91 for a third straight day of gains. The index
hit 9,006.87 in the morning session, its highest level since
Nov. 7. The broader Topix index climbed 1.6 percent to
748.92.
    Recent climbs have come on the back of healthy volumes, with
1.24 billion shares changing hands on the Topix at the midday
break. Volume on the Topix hit a two-month high on Thursday,
with 2.2 billion shares changing hands.  
    "Japanese shares have been underperforming their global
peers, so investors may take this domestic trading cue as a
chance to chase the market higher," said Kenji Shiomura, an
analyst at Daiwa Securities.
   The benchmark is up 6.4 percent so far this year but lags a
7.6 percent rise in the U.S. S&P 500 and an 8.6 percent
gain in the pan-European STOXX Europe 600.
     The yen steadied in early Asian trading on Friday. The
dollar last traded at 81.12 yen after rising as high as 81.46
yen on Thursday on trading platform EBS, its highest
level since late April.
    Big gainers included PGM Holdings KK, Japan's No. 2
golf course operator, which jumped 11 percent to a four-year
high on plans to launch a tender offer to win control of bigger
rival Accordia Golf Co, as it seeks to boost profit in
a stagnant market. 
    Brewer Kirin Holdings Co Ltd sagged 3.1 percent to
a three-month low after a consortium led by Overseas Union
Enterprise Ltd said Kirin will offer to buy Fraser and
Neave Ltd's food and beverage business for S$2.7
billion ($2.2 billion) if OUE's bid for F&N is successful.
 
    Investors will be watching Friday's meeting at the White
House between President Barack Obama and Republican and
Democratic leaders of Congress over deficit reduction for a sign
the two sides are moving closer.
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California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

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