Nikkei rises to 2-week high on weak yen; Ebola-related stocks soar

Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:24am EDT

TOKYO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose to a two-week
high on Friday as the weaker yen lifted exporters, while renewed
fears about the spread of the Ebola virus in the United States
bolstered Ebola-related stocks such as Fujifilm Holdings Corp
.
    The Nikkei share average ended 1.0 percent higher to
15,291.64, the best closing level since Oct 10.
    For the week, the index gained 5.2 percent.
    Tokyo-listed shares in firms manufacturing Ebola-related
products jumped in response to news that a New York City doctor
who had worked with the humanitarian organization Doctors
Without Borders in Africa became the first person to test
positive for the virus in America's largest city.
 
    Air filter manufacturer Airtech Japan Ltd leapt 17
percent, while health protection device maker Shigematsu Works
Co Ltd soared 10 percent.
    Fujifilm, which makes the Avigan drug hoped to be a
potential cure for the deadly virus, also rose 2.5 percent.
    The yen was at 107.97 against the dollar, pulling
away from two-week lows hit early on Friday as U.S. stock
futures tumbled on reports of the New York Ebola diagnosis. [ID:
nL3N0SJ16I]
    The depreciation of the Japanese currency helped export
shares, with Toyota Motor Corp jumping 1.8 percent and
Tokyo Electron Ltd rising 1.2 percent.    
    The broader Topix rose 0.8 percent to 1,242.32,
while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also advanced 0.9
percent to 11,308.95.

 (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa and Thomas Wilson; Editing by Kim
Coghill & Shri Navaratnam)
 
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