Nikkei advances further on BOJ stimulus; financials lead gains
* Market bask in afterglow of BOJ bazooka - strategist * FamilyMart tumbles on poor forecast By Tomo Uetake TOKYO, April 10 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average rose on Wednesday morning, moving closer to a near five-year high, helped by optimism in the economic outlook since the Bank of Japan started its sweeping monetary expansion campaign. Shares of banks and real estate firms led the gains on expectations that the reflationary policy will benefit them the most. "The market is still basking in the afterglow of the BOJ bazooka," said Yuya Tsuchida, a strategist of Toyo Securities, referring to the BOJ's bold monetary easing steps announced last Thursday. The Nikkei gained 0.7 percent to 13,289.30 by the midday break, moving closer to an intraday high of 13,331.39 touched the previous day, its highest level since August 2008. Overnight gains on Wall Street also underpinned Japanese equities, though gains may be capped in late trade with investors cautious of signs the market is overbought after the Nikkei's sharp rise in the past week. The benchmark currently trades 6.6 percent above its 25-day moving average of 12,463.26. A level above 5 percent is considered overbought. "The market has been gaining sharply, especially reflationary stocks. The rises have been very, very steep," said Yasuo Sakuma, portfolio manager of Bayview Asset Management, adding he would not be surprised if investors wanted to lock in some of their gains. Analysts said that although the mood remains positive, the rate at which the index climbs tends to slow when it trades above 13,200. Financials led the gains, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group soaring 4.2 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group jumping 6 percent and Mizuho Financial Group gaining 2.4 percent. They were the three most-traded stocks on the main board by turnover. Nomura Holdings Inc surged 5.3 percent and was the fifth most-traded stock. Asset-related stocks and exporters also attracted buying. Mitsubishi Estate Co advanced 2.6 percent, while Sharp Corp rose 3.2 percent. However, FamilyMart Co bucked the overall market and fell 5.7 percent after the convenience store operator's weaker-than-expected earnings forecast for the year through February 2014 disappointed investors. The broader Topix rose 1.5 percent to 1,118.01. The Nikkei has gained more than 5 percent since Thursday's BOJ announcement of massive monetary stimulus. The central bank plans to inject about $1.4 trillion into the economy in less than two years by buying government bonds across the yield curve as well as riskier exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The benchmark has surged more than 50 percent since mid-November, when Shinzo Abe promised expansionist fiscal and monetary policies, dubbed "Abenomics", to revive Japan's economy during his election campaign. He was elected prime minister the following month.
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