Nikkei ends at 8-month high on weak yen; retailers fall on cost concerns
* Market retains expectations on easing in long-term - analysts * Retailers languish on rising raw material price concern By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose to an eight-month high on Thursday as the weak yen lifted sentiment and a meeting between the central bank governor and prime minister boosted expectations of additional easing in the long-term. The Nikkei climbed 0.8 percent to 15,909.20, the highest closing level since Jan. 10. The broader Topix hit a six-year high, rising 0.3 percent to 1,311.24. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he told Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the central bank will not hesitate to ease policy further if its 2 percent inflation goal becomes difficult to achieve. But he also told Abe that a positive economic cycle in Japan is firmly in place, suggesting there is no immediate need to act. "There was nothing new in the meeting outcome... it's what Kuroda has been saying over the last few months," said Isao Kubo, equity strategist at Nissay Asset Management. "But the fact that they had a meeting showed that they keep an eye on the economy." He added that while consumption is weak, there are still hopes for additional easing in the long-term. The dollar hit a new six-year high of 107.02 yen in Asian trade. Exporters got a boost, with Honda Motor Co rising 1.0 percent, Sony Corp 2.7 percent and Toshiba Corp 1.3 percent. However, retailers languished on concerns about rising raw material prices. Supermarket operators Aeon Co fell 0.5 percent and Seven & i Holdings Co dropped 1.7 percent. "While consumption is weak, they can't raise prices, so investors saw that these companies have no choice but to see their profits squeezed in the coming months if the yen keeps weakening," said Norihiro Fujito, a senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.3 percent to 11,887.55. (Editing by Richard Borsuk)
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