Japan’s Nikkei share average rose to a one-week high on Friday as the yen dropped, after an expected policy decision by the Bank of Japan provided relief to investors. The Nikkei soared 0.9 percent to as much as 20,015.16 in early afternoon trade, its highest since June 9 after the BOJ kept monetary policy steady as expected, before quickly paring gains. The benchmark is on track to fall 0.2 percent for the week. The BOJ also left unchanged a loose pledge to keep increasing bond holdings at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen ($729 billion).
It upgraded its assessment of private consumption and overseas growth, signalling confidence that an export-driven economic recovery was broadening and gaining momentum. Investors concerned whether the BOJ would communicate its exit strategy without causing market turmoil took solace from the fact that its announcement made no mention of exiting from the ultra-loose policy, traders said. “The market was relieved that there was no mention of an exit strategy, at least for now,” said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.
“Kuroda may or may not mention that in his press conference later, but for now, the market took heart from a policy decision without a surprise,” he added, in a reference to central bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda. The dollar ticked up to a session high of 111.27 yen, its highest since June 2, helping overall sentiment. Friday’s notable gainers were financial stocks, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rising 1.8 percent, Nomura Holdings climbing 2.7 percent and insurer T&D Holdings advancing 1.5 percent.
Tech shares underperformed, hit by weakness in U.S. counterparts. Tokyo Electron shed 0.5 percent, TDK Corp fell 0.1 percent, while Sharp Corp gained 0.2 percent. Trading in Takata Corp was suspended after media said the company was preparing to file for bankruptcy as early as next week, as the safety gear maker attempts to manage the world’s largest safety recall. Takata is working toward a deal for financial backing from U.S. auto parts maker Key Safety Systems Inc. The broader Topix gained 0.6 percent to 1,598.05 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 0.7 percent to 14,228.73.