Japanese stocks jump on weaker yen, US gains
Feb 17, 2012, 3:37 GMT
Tokyo - Japanese stocks rose strongly Friday after US shares went up overnight and the yen fell to a four-month low, boosting key exporters.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 146.07 points, or 1.58 per cent, to end at 9,384.17, its highest close in six months, while the broader Topix index was up 10.2 points, or 1.27 per cent, at 810.45.
For the week, the Nikkei surged 4.9 per cent and the Topix gained 4 per cent.
Overnight in the United States, a key market for Japan's exporters, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.96 per cent while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 1.1 per cent and the Nasdaq was up 1.51 per cent on lower-than-expected jobless claims last week and higher-then-expected housing starts in January.
On currency markets at 3 pm (0600 GMT), the dollar traded at 79.05-06 yen, up from Thursday's 5 pm quote of 78.62-63 yen.
The euro was quoted at 103.80-80 yen, up from 102.37-41 yen late Thursday, and at 1.3131-34 dollars, up from 1.3021-22 dollars.
A weaker yen makes exports more competitive overseas and improves earnings when they are repatriated.