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Market Update

Nikkei at 15-Year High, BoJ Keeps Monetary Expansion Unchanged

Author: Hiruki Nakamura
Last Update: 12:25 PM ET April 08 2015

4:30 PM Tokyo Ė Nikkei in Tokyo soared to a new 15-year high as Bank of Japan kept its monetary expansion plan unchanged and retail investors supported new buying in the market. Current account surplus widened in February after the trade deficit in the month narrowed. Takashimaya Company met earnings expectations.

Stocks in Tokyo climbed after retail investors drove the new purchases in the market with the launch of two equity investment trusts.

Two new equities linked trusts were launched today and raised $1.3 billion or 100 billion yen.

In addition, market indexes were powered by the sector rotation from domestic fund managers with the beginning of new financial year and new flow of funds from international investors looking to diversify away from the U.S. markets.

Current account surplus in February widened to 1.44 trillion yen following the 61.4 billion yen surplus in January and 5.99 trillion yen in the same month a year ago, the Ministry of Finance said.

The trade deficit in February narrowed to 143.1 billion yen compared to 864.2 billion yen in the previous month and 572.9 billion yen in the same month a year ago.

The government added export in the month rose 0.4% to 5.96 trillion yen from 5.94 trillion yen a year ago month and imports declined 6.2% to 6.10 trillion yen from 6.51 trillion yen in February 2014.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average jumped 149.27 or 0.8% to 19,789.81 and the broader Topix index increased 9.92 to 1,588.47.

The Nikkei soared to a 15-year high not seen since April 2000.

The yen closed at 119.76 against a dollar.

Stocks in Review

Asahi Glass Co Ltd climbed 3.5% to 806 yen after the Nikkei news said the glass maker plans to build a coal-fired power plant in Indonesia to generate its own electricity for producing chemical products with an estimated cost of $400 million.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd jumped 2.5% to 623 yen after the Nikkei news said transportation and industrial equipments makerís operating profit for the current fiscal year profit may be about 100 billion yen or $833 million.

Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company, the privately held general and health care insurerís operating profit for the fiscal 2014 is expected to rise to 500 billion yen or $4.15 billion, according to a Nikkei news report.

Takashimaya Company, Limited rose 4% to 1,265 yen and extended its year-to-date gain to 30% despite the large retailing company reported earnings that matched most analyst expectations.

Rival, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd gained 3% to 2,181 yen in a rally that lifted retail stocks and extended year-to-date gain to 45%.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc