REFILE-Nikkei hits near 7-1/2-year high on weak yen, US economic optimism

miércoles 3 de diciembre de 2014 23:48 GYT

(Fixes spelling of name in eighth paragraph to 'Tokai Tokyo
Research Center Co' from 'Tokai Tokyu Research Center Co')
    * Exporter shares reap rewards of weaker yen
    * Topix hits 6-year peak
    * Toymaker Tomy soars on share buyback

    By Thomas Wilson
    TOKYO, Dec 4(Reuters) - Japanese stocks jumped to a near
7-1/2-year high on Thursday as a weak yen drove exporter shares,
while the mood was also supported by data showing U.S. economic
resilience and expectations of more stimulus from the European
Central Bank.
    The Nikkei benchmark rose 0.8 percent to 17,856.89
by 0124 GMT after earlier hitting 17,912.59, the highest mark
since July 2007. The index is on course for a fifth straight day
of gains.
    The broader Topix also scaled a six-year peak,
adding 0.8 percent to 1,441.33, with toymaker Tomy 
jumping 10.0 percent to its highest since 2011 after announcing
a 6.7 billion yen ($55.9 million)share buyback. [ID:
    With the yen hitting a seven-year trough of 119.88 against
the dollar, market participants said the weakening currency's
potential to raise exporters' earnings buoyed their stock
    Toyota Motor Co jumped 1.0 percent and Honda Motor
Co Ltd gained 1.7 percent.      
    Also boosting exporter stocks was data from the U.S., a
major market for Japanese manufacturers.  The data showed
private firms adding jobs at a brisk clip in November, pointing
to resilience in the world's largest economy in the face of a
weak global outlook. [ID: nL2N0TN0Q7]
    Investors also were looking toward the European Central
Bank's policy meeting and upcoming Japanese election as
potential market catalysts.    
    "There's activity in anticipation of extremely promising
conditions being born," said Hiroyuki Nakai, chief strategist at
Tokai Tokyu Research Center Co. 
    The ECB is seen as considering a programme of sovereign bond
buying to revive the eurozone's flagging economy.  The ECB meets
on Thursday. [ID: nL6N0TN2FT] 
    Separately, a poll pointed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's
coalition scoring a handsome win at the Dec. 14 general
election, suggesting a fresh mandate for his 'Abenomics' plan
for reviving the Japanese economy.[ID: nL3N0TN4FT]
    Large-cap firm Fanuc Corp added 2.5 percent, while
other market heavyweights Softbank Corp and Uniqlo
clothes brand owner Fast Retailing were flat and down
0.2 percent, respectively.
    The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 0.7 percent to

(1 US dollar = 119.8500 Japanese yen)

 (Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)