Nikkei rises to 1-1/2 week high on China relief, ECB hopes

lunes 19 de enero de 2015 22:46 GYT
 

* Better-than-expected China data lifts China-related stocks
    * Financials, exporters outperform

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks surged to a more
than one-week high on Tuesday morning as China's
better-than-expected growth data lifted China-related stocks,
while expectations that the European Central Bank will unveil
easing measures buoyed overall sentiment.
    The benchmark Nikkei rose 1.5 percent to 17,265.40
after hitting a high of 17,279.46 soon after China released
fourth quarter gross domestic product data. It was the highest
level since Jan. 9, putting more distance from a 2-1/2-month low
of 16,592.57 hit on Friday. 
    China's economic growth held steady at 7.3 percent in the
fourth quarter from a year earlier, slightly better than
expected but still hovering at its weakest since the global
financial crisis. 
    "The figure eased some concern about China's growth," said
Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a strategist at Mizuho Securities. "The
market will continue to monitor developments in China such as
measures to boost infrastructure investment."
    China-related shares outperformed, with construction
equipment maker Komatsu Ltd rising 2.8 percent and
industrial robot maker Fanuc Corp jumping 3.2 percent.
    Broader market sentiment was supported by expectations the
ECB will on Thursday unveil plans to buy sovereign bonds to try
to fight deflation and revive growth.
    A Reuters poll of money market traders found the median
expectation was for a package worth 600 billion euros, though
most also felt that would not be enough to bring inflation up to
target. 
    Financials, which underperformed the market on the previous
day, were bought back. Nomura Holdings gained 2.3
percent, Daiwa Securities Group added 3.2 percent and
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 1.7 percent.
    The dollar was at 118.14, holding at generally
attractive levels for exporters and helping spur Toyota Motor
Corp up 1.7 percent, Nissan Motor Co 1.5
percent higher and Panasonic Corp up 2.4 percent.
    The broader Topix gained 1.2 percent to 1,388.87 and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 1.3 percent to
12,625.07.
    

 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)