Nikkei vaults 21-month high, heads for best year gain since 2005

TOKYO Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:33am IST

A man points up as he passes an electronic monitor displaying market indices outside a brokerage in Tokyo December 27, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

A man points up as he passes an electronic monitor displaying market indices outside a brokerage in Tokyo December 27, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Yuriko Nakao

Related Topics

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average rose to a 21-month high on Friday, heading for its best yearly gain since 2005, as exporters were buoyed by a weaker yen on expectations of aggressive monetary stimulus under new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Export-focused firms leading the index higher included Toyota Motor Corp, Honda Motor Co, Canon Inc and Nikon Corp, up between 1.2 and 2.4 percent.

Index heavyweight and industrial robot maker Fanuc Corp gained 1.7 percent.

The Nikkei advanced 0.9 percent to 10,412.73 in mid-morning of its last trading day of the year, touching its highest level since March 11, 2011 and shrugging off a slump in Japan's factory output in November.

"We expect the yen to hit 90, and the Nikkei to reach 11,000 as early as late January or early February," said Shun Maruyama, chief Japan equity strategist at BNP Paribas.

"The market is pricing in a new inflation target of 2 percent. However, the problem is how to achieve the target. The market is focusing on what the BOJ will announce in its next meeting."

Maruyama said if the Bank of Japan, which is to hold its next policy meeting on January 21-22, fell short of market expectations, investors would take profit.

The benchmark Nikkei has rallied 20.2 percent over the past 6-1/2 weeks, on speculation that Abe will pursue policies to weaken the currency, which has hurt Japanese exporters' competitiveness and their overseas earnings when repatriated.

Asset performance in 2012: link.reuters.com/muc46s

The Nikkei is up 23.2 percent this year, on track for its best yearly gain since 2005, while the Japanese currency has lost 12.4 percent against the greenback this year, and is set to post its biggest annual loss since 2005.

The yen hit a more than two-year low of 86.64 to the dollar on Friday.

The broader Topix index gained 0.5 percent to 858.00.

Nippon Electric Glass Co, however, shed 3.5 percent after the glassmaker cut its earning forecast for the nine-month period through December, citing a price decline in glasses used in flat panel displays.

(Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Jaitley's Health

Jaitley's Health

Finance minister back in hospital for check-up.  Full Article 

Modi's U.S. Visit

Modi's U.S. Visit

Modi to observe strict fast during maiden trip to U.S.  Full Article 

Mangalyaan

Mangalyaan

India's Mars mission a step closer to success with engine test  Full Article 

Shortage of Coal

Shortage of Coal

Coal import rush leads to port congestion  Full Article 

Alibaba IPO

Alibaba IPO

IPO ranks as world's biggest after additional shares sold   Full Article 

Bumper Sales

Bumper Sales

Apple sells more than 10 mln new iPhones in first three days  Full Article 

Asian Games 2014

Asian Games 2014

Full coverage of the 17th Asian Games as Incheon.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage