Nikkei surges on reports GPIF to raise stock holdings; BOJ also in focus

jueves 30 de octubre de 2014 22:00 GYT
 

* Public pension fund to more than double stock holdings -
reports
    * BOJ policy meeting eyed, no change in policy expected
    * Canon shines after share buyback announcement
    * Weaker yen helps exporters

    By Thomas Wilson
    TOKYO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
jumped on Friday as the government prepared to approve new
allocation targets for the world's largest pension fund that are
expected to sharply increase its purchases of domestic stocks. 
    Tokyo will approve on Friday targets for the $1.2 trillion
Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) which aim to increase
the ratio of Japanese shares in its holdings to 25 percent form
the current 12 percent, sources told Reuters. [ID: nT9N0O202L]
    The Nikkei benchmark soared 1.8 percent to 15,931.95
 by 0141 GMT, its highest level since Oct 7.     
    Global financial markets closely watch GPIF's allocations,
as a shift of as little as 1 percentage-point shift means a
transfer of more than $10 billion.        
    "It's a surprise. The consensus was that GPIF would go to 20
percent Japanese stocks. The impact of 25 percent will be
strong, with a positive impact for stocks," said Masayuki
Doshida, senior market analyst at Rakuten Securities in Tokyo. 
    The GPIF move was a boon to investors awaiting the outcome
of the Bank of Japan's policy meeting.  
    The central bank is expected to maintain its unprecedented
asset buying program and stick to its upbeat 2 percent inflation
forecast, suggesting no new easing on the horizon.
    
    However, data released on Friday morning showed that Japan's
consumer inflation slowed for a second consecutive month in
September, underscoring the BOJ's uphill task in reflating the
Japanese economy. 
    The central bank's policy decision is due around 0230-0330
GMT.
    Canon Inc soared 3.0 percent after the electronics
giant announced that it will buy back up to 1.5 percent, or 50
billion yen ($458 million), of its own shares. 
    Daiwa Securities Inc also jumped 3.4 percent after
beating its second-quarter net profit forecast.   
    In currencies, strengthening Federal Reserve confidence in
the U.S. economy pushed the dollar up against the yen, helping
Japanese exporters.  
    At 0144 GMT the dollar bought 109.33, up about 0.1
percent on the day and not far from Thursday's four-week high of
109.47.
    Toyota Corp gained 1.6 percent, Nissan Motor Co Ltd
 climbed 2.6 percent and Panasonic Corp jumped
1.8 percent.
    The broader Topix was up 1.5 percent to 1,296.91,
while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also added 1.5
percent to 11,813.23.    

 (Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Kim Coghill)