3 Min Read
* Nissan, Canon, Nikon among exporters up more than 4 pct * Kirin down 4 pct on news it may buy F&N food business * Trading volumes healthy, flows pick up -mkt participants * PGM Holdings soars on tender offer for Accordia By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average jumped 1.3 percent on Friday to its highest level in more than a week, after the leader of Japan's main opposition party, seen as likely to become premier after an election next month, called for more monetary policy easing. The call by Shinzo Abe, a former prime minister, for the central bank to push interest rates to zero or below zero to spur lending has pushed the yen to a 6-1/2 month low, sending shares in exporters sharply higher. Exporters had been battered by worries about the U.S. fiscal cliff and Europe's debt crisis and several jumped more than 4 percent including Canon Inc, Nikon Corp and Nissan Motor Co Ltd. "We see a little bit of our flows picking up today," said Mattia Ciancaleoni, director of equity sales at Citigroup While some profit-taking may occur late in the session ahead of the weekend, the likely change in government and additional pressure on the central bank to ease may lift the Nikkei to 9,000 in the coming days, he added. The Nikkei climbed to 8,945.42, its third straight day of gains and highest level since Nov. 7. The broader Topix index climbed 1.1 percent to 745.57. Recent climbs have come on the back of healthy volumes, with volume on the Topix hitting a two-month high on Thursday. "Japanese shares have been underperforming their global peers, so investors may take this domestic trading cue as a chance to chase the market higher," said Kenji Shiomura, an analyst at Daiwa Securities. The benchmark is up 5.9 percent so far this year but lags a 7.6 percent rise in the U.S. S&P 500 and a 8.6 percent gain in the pan-European STOXX Europe 600. The yen steadied in early Asian trading on Friday. The dollar last traded at 81.14 yen after rising to as high as 81.46 yen on Thursday on trading platform EBS, its highest level since late April. Notable stocks included PGM Holdings KK, Japan's No. 2 golf course operator, which jumped by its daily limit or 15.6 percent to a four-year high on plans to launch a tender offer to win control of bigger rival Accordia Golf Co, as it seeks to boost profit in a stagnant market. Brewer Kirin Holdings Co Ltd sagged 4.5 percent to a three-month low after a consortium led by Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd said Kirin will offer to buy Fraser and Neave Ltd's food and beverage business for S$2.7 billion ($2.2 billion) if OUE's bid for F&N is successful. Investors will be watching Friday's meeting at the White House between President Barack Obama and Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress over deficit reduction for a sign the two sides are moving closer.