* Exporters, warehouse stocks lead the gains
* Approval of new BOJ leadership will boost hopes for swift
monetary policy - analyst
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, March 15 The Nikkei share average rose to
a new 4-1/2 year high on Friday on growing expectations that the
central bank will ease monetary policy aggressively under a new
leadership, which was approved by parliament.
Japan's parliament approved Haruhiko Kuroda as the Bank of
Japan's next governor and Kikuo Iwata and Hiroshi Nakaso to
serve as the BOJ's two deputy governors.
"Approval by the upper house will boost hopes for more
decisive and swift policy easing," said Yoshiyuki Kondo, an
analyst at Daiwa Securities.
Exporters, whose earnings will likely be boosted by a
weaker yen on hopes for bolder policy easing, were in favor.
Companies such as warehouse owners and railroad operators with
large land holdings outperformed, helped by expectations
reflationary policy will raise their asset values.
The Nikkei gained 1.0 percent to 12,499.05 in
mid-morning trade, after rising to as high as 12,502.81, the
highest level since early September 2008.
Among exporters, Toyota Motor Corp gained 1.4
percent, Honda Motor Co added 2.2 percent and Nikon
Corp surged 2.0 percent.
Inui Warehouse Co soared 7.5 percent, Shibusawa
Warehouse Co gained 3.1 percent and logistics operator
Mitsui-Soko Co rose 2.2 percent.
"Reflation stocks such as these warehouses and real estate
will probably continue to rise before the release of land prices
by the government next week. People started seeing office rents
in the Tokyo metropolitan area rising, and they want to see how
much land prices are rising as well," Daiwa's Kondo said.
East Japan Railway Co added 0.8 percent, while
Odakyu Electric Railway Co gained 1.3 percent.
Gains in U.S. and European stocks are also bolstered
investor risk appetite, analysts said.
"We see several signs of a little bit of overheating in the
Japanese market, but strength in the overseas market serves as a
tailwind to Japanese equities," said Hiroichi Nishi, an
assistant general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities.
The Nikkei traded 6.5 percent above its 25-day moving
average. A level above 5 percent suggests that the market is
The Dow Jones industrial average ended at another record
high, helped by data showing U.S. jobless benefit claims