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