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Tokyo stocks at six-month high by break

Last Updated: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 10:21

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks on Friday morning surged 1.77 percent to their highest level in six months, boosted by a weaker yen and hopes the US Federal Reserve will maintain its easy-money policy.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 262.81 points to 15,139.22 by the break, the first time it has broken the 15,000 barrier since late May.

The Topix index of all first-section issues was up 1.53 percent, or 18.61 points, at 1,237.16.

Investor sentiment improved after US Federal Reserve chair nominee Janet Yellen suggested the central bank would not start reeling in its easy-money policy in the immediate future as economic growth remained tepid and unemployment elevated.

"(Her) comments and obvious dovish stance on policy easing is a great tonic for the markets," said an equity trading director at a foreign brokerage.

"At some point profit-taking is going to kick in but few players are willing to stand in the way of the freight train right now," the trader told Dow Jones Newswires.

Tokyo shares hit a five-year high just above the 15,600-level in late May.

Wall Street enjoyed another record close thanks to Yellen`s remarks, shrugging off some disappointing earnings results.

The Dow 0.35 percent to 15,876.22 while the S&P 500 rose 0.48 percent to 1,790.62 -- both all-time highs.

In currency trading, the dollar topped 100 yen for the first time since mid-September, changing hands at 100.24 yen in Tokyo midday trade against 100.00 yen in New York Thursday.

The lower yen provided support to exporters with Sony up 3.58 percent at 1,850 yen and Canon up 1.57 percent at 3,220 yen.

Financial stocks were also higher after reporting robust earnings Thursday.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Japan`s biggest bank, rose 1.24 percent to 653 yen while rival Mizuho gained 1.86 percent to 218 yen.

Tokyo Electric Power climbed 1.64 percent to 557 yen after media reports that the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant would get billions of dollars in fresh bank loans to help fund decommissioning the site and compensating victims.

First Published: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 10:12
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