* Exporters lead gains as dollar hits 1 week high vs yen
* Sharp gives up some of previous day's sharp gains
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, March 7 Japan's Nikkei share average rose
above 12,000 on Thursday for the first time in 4-1/2 years, with
risk appetite supported by a record high on Wall Street and the
prospect of Japan soon adopting an aggressive reflationary
The Nikkei rose 1.1 percent to 12,060.96 by
mid-morning, its highest level since September 2008.
Exporters led the gains as the dollar hit a one-week high
against the yen after a report showed U.S. private-sector
employers added a larger-than-expected 198,000 jobs in February.
"Foreign investors are main buyers of exporters," said
Tetsuro Ii, the chief executive of Commons Asset Management.
"Exporters have gained sharply recently and they have become
expensive," he said but added that these valuations will likely
be justified when their earnings recover on the back of a weaker
The Nikkei has gained about 16 percent this year,
outperforming its global peers as the yen had declined sharply
weakened on calls by new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for
By comparison, the Dow has added 9.1 percent, the
Standard & Poor's 500 Index has gained 8.1 percent while
the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index has advanced
4.6 percent over the same period.
On Thursday, the Bank of Japan is likely to keep monetary
policy unchanged, holding fire for new leaders who are expected
adopt bolder measures to end nearly 20 years of mild deflation.
The two-day meeting that started on Wednesday is the last
for Governor Masaaki Shirakawa and his two deputies before they
leave on March 19.
Among exporters, Honda Motor Co gained 1.4 percent,
Mazda Motor Corp rose 3.9 percent and Nikon Corp
added 1.6 percent.
But Sharp Corp gave up some of the sharp gains it
made a day earlier after sources said South Korea's Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd is set to invest about $110
million in the struggling firm. The news was later confirmed by
The stock fell 4.1 percent after gaining 14 percent on
Wall Street mostly edged higher on Wednesday, with the Dow
hitting another record, helped by the private payroll survey
that bodes well for the monthly jobs report due on Friday.