Nikkei rises to fresh 8-year high on U.S. rally; eyes on BOJ decision

martes 17 de febrero de 2015 22:10 GYT
 

* Event-driven funds seen buying banking shares before BOJ
decision - analyst
    * Nikkei's next target seen at 18,261.98 - analysts

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose
to a fresh eight-year high on Wednesday morning after U.S.
stocks rallied on hopes that a debt deal would be reached with
Greece, while eyes are on the policy decision by the Bank of
Japan, which is widely expected to keep its policy on hold.    
    The Nikkei gained 1.0 percent to 18,164.84 in
mid-morning trade after rising as high as 18,169.07, the highest
level since July 2007. The next upside target as a closing level
is seen at 18,261.98, which was marked in early July 2007,
analysts said.
    Greece will remain an immediate concern for financial
markets as the European Central Bank decides later in the day
whether to maintain emergency lending to Greek banks which have
lost deposits at an unnerving rate. 
    The BOJ is set to maintain its massive asset buying stimulus
spree on Wednesday and revise up its view on output, even as
data showing only a feeble recovery from recession tempers its
optimism. 
    "A hundred out of a hundred people expect that the BOJ will
stand pat on policy, however, event-driven funds have been
piling up long positions in stocks sensitive to easy policy,"
said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi
UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
    Fujito said that such short-term investors are seen buying
financial stocks and real estate stocks before the BOJ's policy
meeting, but they may reserve their positions when the decision
is out.
    The banking sector, which has gained 7.6 percent over the
past week, added 2.3 percent on Wednesday, with Mitsubishi UFJ
Financial Group rising 2.3 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui
Financial Group advancing 2.6 percent.
    The real estate sector, which has risen 6.1 percent over the
same period, gained 1.0 percent, with Mitsui Fudosan Co 
rising 1.1 percent and Sumitomo Realty & Development Co 
gaining 1.5 percent.
    Over the same term, the Nikkei has risen 2.9 percent.
    Overall sentiment was upbeat as the yen weakened to 119.22
yen to the dollar, stepping back from Monday's high of
118.11 yen. 31 of Topix's 33 subsectors were in positive
territory.
    The broader Topix gained 1.3 percent to 1,480.48 and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 1.3 percent to
13,436.66.