Nikkei rises to fresh 15-year high on weak yen, China rate cut

domingo 1 de marzo de 2015 22:16 GYT

* GPIF's buying of Japanese stocks also lift the mood -
    * Mitsui OSK outperforms on report it will sail largest
container vessels
    * Taisei Corp falls after fund raising announcement

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, March 2 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose
to a fresh 15-year high on Monday morning after China's interest
rate cut lifted global investors' risk appetite and the yen
weakened, but gains were limited as investors were cautious
about the market's recent rises.
    The Nikkei gained 0.2 percent to 18,840.04 points by
mid-morning, after hitting as high as 18,939.17 earlier, the
highest level since April 2000. Last month, it rose 6.4 percent,
the biggest monthly gain since November.
    China lowered interest rates on Saturday, a day before an
official survey showed the country's factory sector contracted
for a second straight month in February. The move had been
expected but not so soon after it cut bank reserve requirements
early in February. 
    "Although the direct impact of the China's rate cut on the
Japanese market is limited, the fact that the country took
action promptly for its economy was taken positively," said
Takuya Takahashi, a strategist at Daiwa Securities. "It has
helped the yen to weaken so it's lifting overall sentiment."
    Also helping the mood was news that Japan's trillion-dollar
public pension fund bought nearly $15 billion worth of domestic
shares in the fourth quarter, more than expected, while slashing
its Japanese government bond holdings. 
    Exporters were steady, with Toyota Motor Corp 
rising 0.8 percent and Honda Motor Co > adding 0.2
    The dollar traded at 119.95 yen, the highest since
Feb. 12.
    Mitsui OSK Lines outperformed, rising 1.9 percent
to a 1-1/2-week high after the Nikkei business daily said the
shipper will start sailing the world's biggest container ships
in 2017 when six of the behemoths begin plying routes connecting
Asia with Europe.
    Bucking the trend, Taisei Corp dropped as much as
4.8 percent to a more than a week low after saying it will issue
news shares overseas. 
    The broader Topix gained 0.2 percent to 1,527.31 and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 0.2 percent to

 (Editing by Kim Coghill)