Nikkei soars to more than 3-week high despite doubts over BOJ rate move
* Real estate stocks extend rises after BOJ's decision, while banks continue falling
* Nisshin Steel soars as it considers alliance with Nippon Steel
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average soared to more than a three-week high on Monday as the Bank of Japan's surprise decision to adopt negative interest rates spurred further buying, though most economists doubted it would give much of a boost to the economy.
The Nikkei rose 1.2 percent to 17,727.62 points by midmorning trade, after hitting as high as 17,821.37 earlier, the highest since Jan. 8.
Traders said the BOJ's implementation of negative interest rates announced on Friday was a welcome psychological boost for global investor sentiment and business confidence.
It has also reversed some recent strength in the yen, though economists are unsure how long that weakness will last.
"Given the uncertainty over China and the uneasiness as the U.S. Federal Reserve begins a phase of interest rate hikes, the recent market sentiment fear is probably more of a crisis of confidence," said Kok Wei Yee, a portfolio Manager at Fidelity Worldwide Investment in Japan.
"The BOJ is well aware that significant market turbulence can negatively affect the real economy, and the easing measure is more of a pre-emptive and symbolic move." Continuación...