Nikkei set to rise to nearly 5-year high on BOJ boost
TOKYO, April 5 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to scale new heights on Friday, possibly head above 13,000 for the first time in nearly 5 years, after the Bank Of Japan announced a bold plan the previous day to pump well over $1 trillion dollars into the economy to reignite growth. A sharp drop in the yen is also expected to feed investor appetite for exporters, analysts said, while the BOJ's dramatic stimulus plan on Thursday is generally seen as underpinning the easy money policies adopted by other global central banks that should support equities. Market players said the Nikkei was likely to trade between 12,800 to 13,100 on Friday after rising 2.2 percent to 12,634.54 on Thursday. A move above 13,000 would mark the first such break of the level since August 2008. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 13,015, up 2.3 percent from the close in Osaka of 12,720. "Japanese stocks will likely continue outperforming its global peers as already high appetite from both foreigners and domestic investors have been boosted," said Yoshiyuki Kondo, an analyst at Daiwa Securities. He said that while the market is likely to attract strong buying in early trade, investors may pocket some of the gains by the closing bell if the dollar drops on concern about U.S. jobs data set for release later in the day. In the U.S., the jobless claims data disappointed the market after jumping to 385,000 in the latest week, confounding expectations that claims would drop by 7,000 to 350,000. The report followed weaker-than-expected private sector hiring a day earlier that raised concerns about the U.S. growth outlook. On Thursday, the dollar rose as high as 96.41 yen, approaching a 3-1/2-year peak of 96.71 set on March 12, while the euro soared 4.2 percent to 124.52 yen, the biggest one-day move since November 2008. The BOJ surprised markets when it unleashed the world's most intense burst of monetary stimulus, planning to nearly double the monetary base to 270 trillion yen ($2.9 trillion) by the end of 2014, in a shock therapy to end two decades of stagnation. It also said that it will increase purchases exchange traded funds (ETFs) by 1 trillion yen per year and Japan real-estate investment trusts (REITs) by 30 billion yen ($323 million) per year, sharply lifting Reits, real estate stocks and banks after the announcement. > Wall St gets lift from BOJ move, but U.S. data a drag > Euro, dollar soar vs yen on ambitious BoJ policy move > Bank of Japan plan, job jitters propel U.S. bond prices > Gold hits 10-month low despite hopes for ECB cut > Oil down on US jobless claims, Brent hits 5-month low STOCKS TO WATCH -- Osaka Gas Co Osaka Gas, Japan's second biggest supplier of city gas, has identified offshore Mozambique as one of several regions in which it would be interested in making an upstream investment, a senior company official said on Thursday. --Seven & I Holdings Co Seven & I projected a 15 percent operating profit rise for its current business year on Thursday, helped by convenience store sales in Japan and expansion overseas.
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