Nikkei rises 2.2 pct after yen weakens on BOJ report

* BOJ examining easing monetary policy again -Nikkei

* Nikkei up 2.4 percent on week

* Weaker yen lifts exporters after report on the BOJ

* Eyes on Friday’s U.S. jobs data

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO, March 5 (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s Nikkei average rose 2.2
percent on Friday, as a report that the Bank of Japan was
considering monetary easing steps helped the yen to weaken and
after better-than-expected U.S. monthly retail sales.

Exporters such as Kyocera Corp (6971.T: ) led the climb while
property firms gained as well on hopes that a potential Bank of
Japan (BOJ) move would lead to lower borrowing costs and prompted
short-covering in the sector, a trader at a Japanese brokerage
said.

The Nikkei newspaper reported that the BOJ has begun
examining a further easing of its already ultra-loose monetary
policy and may make a decision on such a move as early as this
month. [ID:nTOE6230A7]

Market players welcomed the possibility, noting that March is
the last month of the Japanese business year and a weaker yen
would have a positive impact on earnings for Japanese firms. A
stronger yen eats into exporter profits when repatriated.

“This has definitely had the biggest impact today,” said
Norihiro Fujito, general manager at the investment research and
information division of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities.

“Even if the decision is made next month, they want the
impact of the move in this business year, to weaken the yen and
reduce the impact of deflation at a time that will affect
earnings.”

The benchmark Nikkei (.N225: ) climbed 223.24 points to
10,368.96, erasing a 1.1 percent decline booked the previous day
and rising 2.4 percent on the week, its fourth positive week this
year. It gained a mere 3 points last week.

The broader Topix (.TOPX: ) added 1.5 percent to 910.81 and the
dollar gained 0.3 percent to 89.27 yen (JPY=: ). [FRX/]

“If dollar/yen climbs back above 90 yen, the Nikkei could
break out of range-bound trade, with the next target likely being
around 10,500,” said Mitsuo Shimizu, deputy general manager at
Cosmo Securities.

Fujito said foreign investors, among others, apparently sold
stock futures on Thursday, helping to push the benchmark Nikkei
down. Friday’s moves were mainly short-covering, with hedge funds
and commodity trading advisors (CTAs) also likely taking part, he
said.

EYES ON JOBS, CHINA

Market players also said that investors were wary ahead of
the weekend and U.S. jobs data.

“The problem with the jobs data is that it’s such a volatile
indicator, especially given all the snow last month — some
people say the number could climb as much as 100,000 jobs or more
lost. So nobody really wants to push the market higher before
this is out,” said Fujito.

Forecasts are for a cut of 50,000 jobs. (ECON: ).

Exporters climbed after the yen weakened and Wall Street rose
on encouraging U.S. economic data, including better-than-expected
retail sales figures. Retail sales were thought to have been hurt
by the severe weather across the United States last month.

Kyocera rose 2.6 percent to 8,150 yen and Sony Corp (6758.T: )
rose 3.4 percent to 3,205 yen.

Canon Inc rose 2.4 percent to 3,855 yen. It declared its bid
for Oce (OCEN.AS: ) unconditional, sending a clear message to
shareholders holding out for a better deal it is set to tie up
the acquisition. [ID:nTOE62308E]

Canon extended the offer to March 19 with the aim of buying
all shares in the Dutch printer maker.

Among property firms, Mitsubishi Estate Co (8802.T: ) gained
2.9 percent to 1,409 yen and Sumitomo Realty & Development Co
(8830.T: ) jumped 4.6 percent to 1,632 yen.

Some 1.7 billion shares changed hands on the Tokyo exchange’s
first section, well below last year’s daily average of 2.3
billion.

Advancing shares outnumbered declining ones by more than 11
to 1.
Investment

(Additional reporting by Aiko Hayashi; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Nikkei rises 2.2 pct after yen weakens on BOJ report