Nikkei jumps on strong Wall St, set for slim weekly gain; BOJ in focus

jueves 18 de diciembre de 2014 22:01 GYT

* Benchmark set for third straight day of gains
    * Toyota shares rise on seat-maker consolidation report
    * BOJ set to maintain massive stimulus, decision due
0230-0330 GMT

    By Thomas Wilson
    TOKYO, Dec 19(Reuters) - Japanese stocks jumped on Friday
after Wall Street enjoyed its best two days since late 2011,
with sentiment boosted by the Federal Reserve's pledge of
patience in its approach to raising interest rates. 
    The Nikkei benchmark rose 1.7 percent to 17,504.46
by 0129 GMT, set for its third straight day of gains.  
    After shedding a combined 3.6 percent on Monday and Tuesday,
the average is on course to recover to post a weekly gain of 0.6
    Exporter shares advanced on the back of a weaker yen, which
fell through the 119 barrier against the dollar in early morning
trade.  Exporting firms are also seen benefiting from the slump
in oil prices, which has bolstered consumer spending power
across much of the world.
    Toyota Motor Corp rose 2.0 percent, also helped by
a Nikkei business daily report that it is to consolidate its
seat-making operations in 2016. [ID: nNenbR5c7K]
    Honda Motor Co Ltd and Canon Inc rallied 
2.2 and 1.7 percent respectively.
    Also in focus was the Bank of Japan, which is set to keep
its massive monetary stimulus in place in its first rate review
since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's landslide election victory
last Sunday. [ID: nL3N0U21PK]
    Nearly two months after it shocked markets by announcing
additional easing, traders are looking to the central bank's
comments on the economic outlook for 2015. 
    Although stimulatory to the economy, plummeting oil prices
reduce import costs and threatens to hinder the BOJ's efforts to
banish Japan's deflationary mindset. Annual core consumer
inflation slowed to 0.9 percent in October, well off the central
bank's target of 2 percent.  
    "Whether [Governor Haruhiko] Kuroda links monetary policy to
the relationship between falling oil prices, inflation and the 
economy is important," said Masayuki Doshida, senior market
analyst at Rakuten Securities.
    The policy decision is expected at 0230-0330 GMT, with
Kuroda to hold a press conference at 0630 GMT.   
    The broader Topix added 1.7 percent to 1,399.98,
while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 1.9 percent to

 (Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)