NEW YORK, Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S.-listed shares of Japanese companies rallied on Thursday after comments from the main opposition leader, who will likely be the next prime minister, that sent the yen tumbling.
Shinzo Abe, the head of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party and the front runner in next month's election, urged further monetary easing by the Bank of Japan and pledged to defend public works spending. His comments lifted shares of exporters and contractors and pushed the yen to a near seven-month low against the U.S. dollar.
The currency decline was a boost for Japanese exporters that benefit when returning overseas earnings to Japan.
The BNY Mellon index of American depositary receipts of Japanese companies jumped 3.4 percent, its biggest daily percentage gain in 13 months.
ADRs of Toyota Motor and Honda Motor both rose more than 5 percent, as did those of Canon Inc.
Diversified machinery maker Kubota gained 2.2 percent to $51.06, and electronics powerhouse Panasonic jumped 6.5 percent to $4.93.
Sony ADRs, which fell 8.8 percent Wednesday after the company said it will raise $1.9 billion through a sale of convertible bonds to help finance a series of investments, edged down a penny to close at $9.81, its lowest since June 1987.
The rise in Japanese ADRs lifted the broader BNY Mellon index of Asian ADRs, which gained 1.2 percent.
The BNY Mellon ADR index edged up 0.25 percent, with regional indexes for Europe and Latin America both down less than 0.1 percent.