Nikkei rises 1.9 pct on Wall Street gains, BOJ easing hopes
* BOJ two-day policy meeting in focus * Fast Retailing jumps on bright same-store sales By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, April 3 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose 1.9 percent on Wednesday, as gains in exporters and reflationary stocks helped the market recover from losses of more than 3 percent in the past two days. Hopes for further monetary easing at the Bank Of Japan's policy meeting supported sentiment. Index heavyweight Fast Retailing Co climbed more than 8 percent and was the second-most traded stock after its Uniqlo casual clothing chain posted a 23.1 percent rise in same-store sales in March from a year ago. The Nikkei gained 233.26 to 12,236.69 in mid-morning trade. The BOJ's two-day policy meeting under its new leadership will kick off on Wednesday. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is likely to start open-ended asset purchases immediately, rather than in 2014, boost bond buying and extend the maturity of bonds the bank buys. "Trading may not be active before the important event, but investors will probably buy on the dips as selling was overdone," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities. Long-term foreign investors expect that Japanese equities will post further gains this year as most companies are likely to forecast bright earnings for the current fiscal year through March, analysts said, while easier central bank policy should also boost growth. The broader Topix advanced 1.0 percent to 1,001.24. On Tuesday, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index closed at a record high on positive factory data confirming a steady recovery in the U.S. economy. On Wednesday, reflationary stocks with high asset value outperformed, with East Japan Railway Co gaining 3.4 percent, West Japan Railway Co advancing 1.8 percent and warehouse operator Mitsui-Soko Co rising 3.0 percent. Analysts said that exporters and reflationary stocks, which include banking and real estate stocks, had become the target of selling by short-term investors as they have outperformed the market on the back of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's bold policies aimed at reigniting the economy. Banking stocks and real estate shares, whose performances are more directly linked to the BOJ's stance, underperformed. "Since these stocks have gained sharply this year, investors want to see if the outcome of the meeting will be priced in to the market immediately and the stocks will soon give up gains," said Masayuki Kubota, senior fund manager at Daiwa SB Investments. Mitsubishi Estate Co fell 0.3 percent, Mitsui Fudosan Co dropped 0.1 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group shed 0.2 percent while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group was flat.
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