TOKYO, April 22 (Reuters) - Japan's benchmark Nikkei index climbed to an 11-1/2 week high after Bloomberg reported the Bank of Japan is considering applying negative rates to its lending program for financial institutions, which helped push the yen to its lowest point since April 6.
The Nikkei share average climbed to 17,562.70, its highest point since February 2. In late afternoon trading, the benchmark index sat 0.6 percent higher at 17,469.23, on course to end the week more than 3 percent higher.
The gains were helped by strength in the U.S. dollar, which climbed above 110 yen for the first time since April 6, lifting shares of Japan's exporters and other corporations that stand to profit from a weaker yen.
Stefan Worrall, director of Japan equity sales at Credit Suisse, said earlier in the day that a U.S. dollar below 110 yen would continue to "cap any notions of a sustained rebound" in Japanese equities.
During the morning session, Japanese stocks had edged down after a dip in oil prices and disappointing U.S. corporate earnings.
The broader Topix climbed to an 11-1/2 week high of 1,407.99 during mid-afternoon trading before tapering to sit 0.8 percent higher at 1,404.46 in late afternoon trading. The index is on course to end the week about three percent higher.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was 0.8 percent higher at 12,717.94. (Reporting by Joshua Hunt; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)