Nikkei rises more than 2 pct on hopes for BoJ's easing
TOKYO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose more than 2 percent on Friday as exporters gained after a fall in the yen on expectations that the central bank will ease monetary policy aggressively next week. The Nikkei rose 2.2 percent to 10,842.62. If it ends above Tuesday's 10,879.08, it will be the highest close in 32 months. Citing sources familiar with the central bank's thinking, Reuters reported on Thursday that the BoJ next week will consider removing the 0.1 percent floor on short-term interest rates and commit to open-ended asset buying until the 2 percent inflation target is reached. The Nikkei has rallied about 25 percent over the past two months, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe started calling for further easing, causing the yen to weaken. On Thursday, the yen fell to a more than 2-1/2-year low of 90.14 yen to the dollar. "Foreign investors are becoming increasingly eager to add more Japanese stocks," said Tetsuro Ii, the chief executive of Commons Asset Management. "Abe has been successful in lifting investor sentiment. A good result must be delivered, and we still don't know about that, but the fact that he boosted investors' risk appetites is very positive." The central bank's policy meeting is scheduled on Jan. 21-22. Topix added 1.9 percent to 907.01.
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