Nikkei jumps to 53-month high as Kuroda seen likely next BOJ chief

Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:18pm EST

* Nikkei rises 1.8 pct, Topix gains 1.5 pct as yen slumps
    * Exporters, finanicals lead the gains
    * Sharp Corp falls on Hon Hai capital doubt

    By Dominic Lau
    TOKYO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The Nikkei jumped 1.8 percent to a
53-month high on Monday as the yen slumped after sources said
Japan is likely to nominate Asian Development Bank President
Haruhiko Kuroda, an advocate of aggressive monetary easing, as
its next central bank chief.
    Exporters led the charge after the yen hit a 33-month
low of 94.77 yen to the dollar on Monday, while financials and
real estate companies also advanced as they stood to benefit
from reflationary policy.
    The Nikkei climbed 202.92 points to 11,588.86 after
trading as much as 11,618.53 to its highest level since late
September 2008.
    "We are essentially gapped up because of the Kuroda thing,"
a senior dealer at a foreign bank said.
    "A lot of people took money off the table last week. We saw
some futures selling, cash selling, and now some of that money
is coming back in."   
    Sources told Reuters that the government was also likely to
nominate an academic and a central banker to fill the two deputy
governor posts that open up on March 19. 
    Earlier, the Nikkei newspaper said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
will submit the nominations for Kuroda and the two deputy
governors to parliament this week. Kikuo Iwata, an academic
known as one of the most vocal advocates of bold monetary
expansion, was likely to be nominated as a deputy BOJ governor,
it said. 
    The benchmark Nikkei has rallied nearly 34 percent since
mid-November, driven by a weaker yen after Abe called for the
BOJ to adopt more aggressive monetary policy in his election
campaign. 
    Major exporters on the rise included Toyota Motor Corp
, Honda Motor Co, Canon Inc and auto
parts maker Denso Corp, up between 1.7 and 2.1 percent.
    Lender Mizuho Financial Group rose 2.5 percent and
was the most traded stock on the main board by turnover, while
peers Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, up 2.3 percent,
and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, up 2 percent, were
the fourth and fifth-most traded, respectively.
    Real estate company Mitsui Fudosan climbed 3.5
percent.
    Boosted by the yen's sharp fall, Japanese companies'
earnings outlook has improved sharply. Their one-month earnings
momentum -- analysts' earnings upgrades minus downgrades as a
total of estimates -- rose to 8 percent from 3.6 percent in
January, data from Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S showed.
    The earnings momentum for U.S. companies remained in
negative territory in February, while that for European firms
deteriorated further. 
    The broader Topix rose 1.5 percent to 977.72 on
Monday morning.
    Sharp Corp was one of the seven losers on the
Nikkei, down 0.5 percent after sources said the consumer
electronics maker was unlikely to include a capital infusion
from Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd in its
turnaround plan as talks between the firms have hit a snag.