Nikkei set to rise to nearly 5-year high on BOJ boost

Thu Apr 4, 2013 7:39pm EDT

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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