Friday, March 08 07:16:07
Japan's Nikkei share average ended at a new 53-month high today, as exporters and real estate shares rose helped by bullish U.S. data, a weakening yen, and ongoing optimism aggressive easing will soon be adopted by the Bank of Japan's new leadership.
The Nikkei advanced 2.6 percent to 12,283.62, its highest closing level since September 2008. For the week, the index gained 5.8 percent, the biggest weekly gain since December 2011.
It also sailed past the settlement price of the Nikkei 225 options and futures that expired on Friday morning at 12,072.98.
Stocks were also supported by lower-than-expected jobless claims data signalling further improvement in U.S. employment, as well as the weaker yen which hit a 3-1/2-year low of 95.44 yen to the dollar on Friday after strong Chinese export data boosted risk sentiment.
Exporters were bought on hopes that a weak yen would lift their competitiveness in the global market and raise their overseas earnings when repatriated.
Honda Motor Co gained 2.7 percent, Nissan Motor Co advanced 3.0 percent and Toshiba Corp added 3.9 percent. (C) Reuters