Tokyo stocks rose for the fourth trading day on Tuesday, driving a key index to hit a seven-year high, on the back of the yen's depreciation against the US dollar following the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) unexpected announcement of fresh monetary easing measures last week.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) jumped 448.71 points, or 2.73 percent, from Friday to 16,862.47, its highest finish since Nov. 1, 2007. Japanese financial markets were closed Monday for a national holiday. In the morning, the Nikkei index briefly topped the psychologically important 17,000 mark for the first time since mid-October 2007. The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index, which includes all shares on the market's First Section on the TSE, was also up 35.01 points, or 2.63 percent, to 1,368.65.
The market was cheered by BOJ's surprised announcement on Friday to further ease monetary policy by increasing monetary base and purchases of government bonds to boost the country's economy and end deflation.
The central bank decided to increase the monetary base at an annual pace of about JPY 80 trillion (USD 720 billion), up from the current JPY 60-70 trillion (USD 540-630 billion). The BOJ also said it will expand purchases of government bonds exchange-traded funds and Japan real estate investment trusts.
In the currency market, at 3:35 p.m. (0635 GMT), the US dollar traded at JPY 113.41-44 against JPY 113.99-114.09 in New York at 5 p.m. Monday. The yen's depreciation against the US dollar also prompted investors to buy export-oriented issues in Tokyo.
The weak yen supports exports by making Japanese products more competitive overseas and increase the value of repatriated overseas earning.
In addition, Friday's announcement by the Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund, (the world's biggest public pension fund with USD 1.2 trillion assets) to lift its allocation targets for Japanese and overseas equities also boosted stock prices.