September 16, 2011 / 7:10 AM / 8 years ago

Nikkei climbs over 2 pct, financials lead gains

 * Hopes of progress at euro zone debt meeting
 * Benchmark posts weekly gain of 1.4 pct
 * Recent resistance levels broken
 * Olympus surges, Citi starts coverage with a "buy"
 By Lisa Twaronite	
 TOKYO, Sept 16 (Reuters) - The Nikkei stock average rose
more than 2 percent on Friday, posting its biggest daily
percentage gain since March, as coordinated action from central
banks calmed fears of a European credit freeze and sent
financial shares surging.	
 The benchmark's second day of gains pushed it further away
from a 2-1/2 year closing low hit on Wednesday, and gave it a
weekly gain of 1.4 percent.	
 "With today's rise, it is like we are cautiously climbing up
a wall but at the same time we're thinking that the wall may
collapse if we go up any further," said Kenichi Hirano, a
strategist at Tachibana Securities, who added that European debt
fears remain.	
 U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will hold talks
with European finance ministers later on Friday and will propose
leveraging the euro zone's bailout fund to make it more
effective. 	
 "If the meeting does succeed in calming fears of a spreading
euro zone crisis and U.S. shares manage to continue gaining, the
Nikkei could rise above 9,000 next week," said Mitsushige Akino,
chief fund manager Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. 	
 But he and others cited the relative absence of foreign
buyers as one factor limiting the upside potential of Japanese
shares.	
 "We are seeing gains now that foreigners have stopped
selling, but in order for gains to continue, we need foreigners
to start buying again," said Yutaka Shiraki, senior strategist
at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. 	
 The Nikkei climbed 2.3 percent to 8,864.16, breaking
above 8,732, the settlement price for September Nikkei futures
and options and also above its 25-day moving average of 8,809.	
 Resistance lies at 8,900, a level above which it hasn't
traded since Sept. 2, when it rose to an intraday high of
9,014.27.	
 The broader Topix index added 2.2 percent to 768.13.	
 The European Central Bank said on Thursday it was joining
with other major central banks in a joint action coordinated
with the U.S. Federal Reserve to ease dollar funding for
stricken European banks to tackle an emerging credit.
 	
 Among financial shares, Nomura Holdings rose 5.5
percent to 308 yen.	
 Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group added 4.1 percent
to 2,181 yen while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group 
gained 4.6 percent to 345 yen. They were the second- and
third-most traded issues by turnover.  	
 Olympus climbed 7.4 percent to 2,225 yen, after
Citigroup Global Markets Japan started coverage of the issue
with a "buy" rating and a target price of 2,800 yen, citing the
midterm potential of the optical equipment maker's endoscope
business.	
  Volume was initially thin ahead of a three-day weekend in
Japan, but it picked up late in the session. On the Tokyo Stock
Exchange's main board, 1.93 billion shares changed hands,
topping last week's average of 1.82 billion shares. Advancers
led decliners 1,442 to 152.	
	
 (Additional reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Edwina
Gibbs)	
 
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