Nikkei hits new 53-month high, Fast Retailing surges
Market liquidity could be boosted after Japan's Financial Services Agency said on Thursday that it would relax a regulation, called the uptick rule, to allow stock short selling only at a price that is higher than the last trade.
"The market welcomes the news on deregulation of short selling because it would reduce volatility," said Kyoya Okazawa, head of global equities and commodity derivatives at BNP Paribas in Tokyo. "I think that's the biggest factor behind today's strong market sentiment."
The Nikkei advanced 2.1 percent to 12,219.11, its highest level since September 2008. It also sailed past the settlement price of a slew of options and futures that expired on Friday morning at 12,072.98, according to market sources.
Stocks were also supported by a weaker yen, which hit a 3-1/2-year low of 95.16 to the dollar on Friday after strong Chinese export data boosted risk sentiment. Fumiyuki Nakanishi, general manager of investment and research at SMBC Friend Securities, said he believes a lot of programme buying is taking place. "When the futures go up, that pulls up the whole market," he said.
Investors were bullish after the BOJ raised its outlook on Thursday, noting that Japan's economy was "bottoming out" at the last meeting chaired
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