Nikkei extends gains on speculation Abe could delay tax hike

martes 11 de noviembre de 2014 01:18 GYT

TOKYO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
extended gains on Tuesday, propelled by buying in futures and
call options as speculators pondered the possibility Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe may postpone a planned sales tax increase.
    The Nikkei share average rose more than 2.0 percent
to 17,133.50, a level last seen in October 2007.
    Local media reported on Tuesday that Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe might call a snap election before the end of the year
if he decides to delay a planned hike in the sales tax to 10
percent from next October. No election for parliament's lower
house need be held until 2016. 
    Abe's junior coalition partner said on Tuesday his party
should be prepared for a possible early election. 
    Financial markets have long expected that Abe will go ahead
with the planned tax hike, partly because a delay could be seen
as a sign of failure of his economic policies to boost growth.
    Market players said the rally was led by buying in Nikkei
futures and options, likely by short-term speculators, as the
Nikkei sharply outperformed the broader market.
    The broader Topix gained 1.2 percent while the new
JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 1.3 percent.

 (Editing by Jacqueline Wong)