February 16, 2018 / 6:26 AM / a month ago

Nikkei rises on relief over Kuroda's BOJ reappointment; posts 1.6 pct weekly gain

TOKYO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose on Friday, with investors relieved to see the government appoint Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda for another term and choose an advocate of bolder monetary easing as one of his deputies.

The Nikkei ended 1.2 percent higher to 21,720.25. For the week, it rose 1.6 percent.

In a widely expected move, the government nominated Kuroda to serve another five-year term when the current one ends in April, a sign of Premier Shinzo Abe’s confidence in the governor’s efforts to stimulate the economy out of stagnation.

The government also nominated Masazumi Wakatabe, a professor at Waseda University and an advocate of aggressive monetary easing, as deputy governor.

BOJ Executive Director Masayoshi Amamiya, a veteran central banker known for masterminding monetary policy strategies, was nominated for the second deputy governor post.

“In the short term, the BOJ gave the stock market relief by not derailing Kuroda’s monetary policy. It sent a message to the market that the main part of Abenomics will not change,” said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

“It must have made the right choice by selecting Wakatabe and Amamiya when the market is volatile.”

The broader Topix gained 1.1 percent to 1,737.37, with all 33 subsectors in positive territory. Shares in utilities, food and medicine companies, which are the most sensitive to domestic demand, outperformed.

Tokyo Electric Power soared 4.4 percent, Chubu Electric Power Co jumped 6.5 percent, Astellas Pharma gained 1.2 percent and Ajinomoto Co added 2.0 percent.

Chip-related stocks were also strong, with Tokyo Electron and Advantest Corp both rising 1.8 percent. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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