September 20, 2019 / 2:31 AM / a month ago

Japanese shares head for weekly gain on monetary easing optimism

TOKYO, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose for a second day on Friday as consumer-related shares gained on speculation the Bank of Japan will follow other central banks and ease policy next month.

By 0155 GMT the Nikkei index rose 0.43% to 22,138.16. Nikkei shares were on course for a 0.7% gain this week, which would be its third straight week of gains.

There were 166 advancers on the Nikkei index against 52 decliners.

The BOJ kept policy steady on Thursday but signalled its readiness to expand stimulus as early as next month by issuing a stronger warning of overseas risks threatening the export-reliant economy.

The largest percentage gainers in the index were Olympus Corp up 3.35%, followed by DeNA Co Ltd gaining 2.95% and Chugai Pharmaceutical Co Ltd up by 2.62%.

Shares of Hub Co Ltd an operator of a popular chain of English-style pubs, rose to the highest since February 2018.

Japan is hosting the Rugby World Cup, and the opening match is scheduled for later on Friday. Investors are betting the tournament will boost the pub operator’s sales.

The largest percentage losses in the index were Yamato Holdings Co Ltd down 8.14%, followed by Fanuc Corp losing 2.27% and Isuzu Motors Ltd down by 1.89%.

The broader Topix was up 0.34% at 1,621.05.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.42 billion, below the average of 1.15 billion yen in the past 30 days. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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