* Yen weakness likely to support market this week - analyst
* Nissan sags on disappointment with earnings
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Feb 12 Japan's Nikkei share average
climbed 2.6 percent on Tuesday, boosted by exporters as the yen
weakened after a U.S. Treasury official voiced support for
Japan's aggressive policies to combat deflation and bolster
The index rose to 11,445.77, within reach of a
33-month high of 11,498.42 struck last Wednesday. The benchmark
has risen nearly one-third since mid-November.
Japan's aggressive expansionary monetary policies have
sharply weakened the yen in recent months, prompting concerns in
Europe and the United States.
With finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations
scheduled to meet this week, investors betting on a weaker yen
were relieved after U.S. Treasury Undersecretary Lael Brainard
said the United States supports Japanese efforts to end
deflation and reinvigorate growth.
"Her comments gave confidence to the market. It was
surprising, and was taken as the Obama administration giving a
green light to 'Abenomics'," said Takuya Takahashi, a market
analyst at Daiwa Securities.
The dollar touched a high of 94.42 yen on Monday, its
highest level since May 2010.
Exporters gained ground, with Toyota Motor Corp
rising 2.8 percent, Sony Corp advancing 2.9 percent and
Canon Inc adding 2.6 percent.
Nissan Motor Co lost ground, however, falling 2.0
percent after it bucked the optimistic trend among other
Japanese carmakers reporting quarterly earnings, leaving its
annual profit forecast unchanged as sluggish sales weighed on
its bottom line.
Financials were also in demand on hopes that the rallies
would energise share trading and bolster their commission
income, with Nomura Holdings soaring 4.4 percent and
Daiwa Securities Group jumping 4.8 percent.
"Investors were worried that finance ministers would
criticise the recent weakness in the yen. While the currency
moves have been sensitive to officials' comments in general,
people thought any comment from G20 would trigger yen buying,"
said Hiroichi Nishi, an assistant general manager at SMBC Nikko
Securities. "But such worries are receding as she (Brainard)
said she supports Japan's efforts to end deflation."
European Central Bank council member Jens Weidmann also
said the euro was not overvalued at current levels.
Analysts said that concerns over the euro-zone economy,
which dented the market sharply on Friday, are receding for the
They added that the yen is expected to stay under pressure
on expectations that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will endorse a
far more dovish Bank of Japan regime when the current
leadership's term ends next month.
The BOJ is expected to refrain from taking fresh easing
steps when it meets this week.
"The Nikkei is expected to stay strong this week and may hit
11,500 if the yen weakens further," said Daiwa's Takahashi.
The broader Topix gained 2.0 percent to 976.19.