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Friday, April 21, 2017       13:59 WIB
Tokyo shares up on US tax, Japan easing talk

Tokyo, April 21, 2017 (AFP)
Tokyo shares rose Friday, buoyed by fresh hopes for US tax cuts and comments from Japan's top central banker that monetary easing would be in place for some time.

The gain followed a strong session on Wall Street where the Nasdaq closed at a fresh record on upbeat corporate earnings and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying promised tax cut plans would be unveiled soon.

Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda reiterated that the BoJ's massive monetary easing campaign -- aimed at stoking the economy and defeating deflation -- would remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

His comments in Washington ahead of G20 talks pressured the yen in Asia, which is a plus for Japanese shares as it inflates exporters' overseas profits.

"It looks like the Trump administration wants to reignite the market's expectations for policies," Hideyuki Ishiguro, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, told Bloomberg News.

"Kuroda's comments didn't diverge from his past stance, but since the yen had strengthened a fair amount it became a trigger for some profit-taking."

The benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.03 percent, or 190.26 points, to 18,620.75 -- adding 1.56 percent over the week.

The Topix index of all first-section issues gained 1.07 percent, or 15.77 points, to 1,488.58 -- putting on 2.02 percent since last Friday.

The dollar bought 109.31 yen Friday afternoon, unchanged from New York but up from levels around 108.80 yen in Asia on Thursday.

Toyota rose 1.75 percent to 5,855 yen, while Nissan gained 0.38 percent to 1,036 yen.

Sony, which announced after the market closed that it nearly tripled its full-year net profit forecast, added 0.58 percent to 3,592 yen.

Bank of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group tacked on 1.77 percent to 678.4 yen and Mizuho Financial Group jumped 1.03 percent to 196 yen.

But Fujifilm plunged 4.04 percent to 3,987 yen after announcing it is delaying the release of its financial results as it probes accounting irregularities at a New Zealand unit.

The news raised fears Japan Inc is headed for another embarrassing accounting scandal after Toshiba delayed its results repeatedly to probe allegations of improper accounting at a US nuclear unit hammered by multibillion-dollar losses.


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