Nikkei soars to 7-yr high on weak yen after Scottish vote, Abe's pension reform
* PM Abe's comments bolster stocks and dollar/yen * Nikkei highest since pre financial crisis level * Yen drops to six-year low vs dollar after vote went against Scottish independence By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks soared to a seven-year high on Friday after the yen dropped sharply after Scottish voters rejected a bid for independence and averted a break-up of the United Kingdom. Afternoon comments by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to carry out pension reform as soon as possible bolstered already upbeat sentiment. The Nikkei share average ended 1.6 percent higher at 16,321.08, the highest closing level since 2007 and before the collapse of Lehman Brothers. It was the biggest daily percentage gain in a month, and was up 2.3 percent for the week. During the session, the index easily topped a December 30 high of 16,320.22. "Abe's comment triggered short-term investors' buying," said Norihiro Fujito, a senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities investors, adding that his comments were perfectly timed to coincide when risk appetite was rising. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in the early afternoon that he aims to reform the country's $1.2 trillion public fund as soon as possible. "I believe GPIF reforms are extremely important .... I would like to review its portfolio as soon as possible," Abe told business leaders in a speech. Analysts said the yen's moves against the dollar will be key to how much further momentum is carried through in the market. After Scottish voters rejected independence in a referendum, sterling jumped to a two-week high against the U.S. dollar. The dollar jumped to as high as 109.46 yen, driving exporter shares higher, with Nissan Motor Co rising 1.6 percent, Fuji Heavy Industries jumping 4.6 percent and Advantest Corp climbing 2.2 percent. Index-heavy stocks such as Fast Retailing Co and Fanuc Corp soared 3.6 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. The broader Topix gained 1.1 percent to 1,331.91, and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 1.2 percent to 12,085.85. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
© Thomson Reuters 2017 All rights reserved.