Nikkei hits 5-week high on sliding yen, rising hopes of BOJ easing
By Joshua Hunt
TOKYO, April 21 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose to a 5-1/2 week high on Thursday morning after the yen resumed a weakening trend against the U.S. dollar amid a bounce in oil prices and growing expectations of further easing from the Bank of Japan.
The Nikkei share average climbed 2 percent to end the morning session at 17,236.37. The benchmark index hit a morning session high of 17,265.67, its highest point since March 15.
"Market participants are becoming more confident in their expectations of easing from the Bank of Japan next week and the yen has resumed its decline," said Andrew Meredith, co-managing director at Tyton Capital Advisors.
"This, along with a surge in oil prices, brought on an index wide lift to the Nikkei this morning."
Oil prices rose 4 percent overnight due to a smaller-than-expected build in U.S. crude inventories, offsetting concerns of a glut that were stoked by the end of a Kuwaiti strike.
The U.S. dollar hit a two-week high of 109.88 against the yen, lifting shares of exporters like tire maker Bridgestone Corp, which climbed 2.2 percent.
Auto exporter Toyota Motor Corp gained 2.6 percent during the morning session while Honda Motor Co Ltd shares rose 2.1 percent.
Shares of Mitsubishi Motor Corp were untraded with a glut of sell orders after the automaker admitted to manipulating test data to overstate the fuel economy of 625,000 cars sold in Japan. Continuación...