Tokyo stocks advance on weaker yen after BOJ deputy chief comments

Tokyo stocks advanced Thursday morning as exporters were bought on the yen's weakness against the U.S. dollar after Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Shinichi Uchida expressed caution about a future monetary policy shift.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 618.50 points, or 1.71 percent, from Wednesday to 36,738.42. The broader Topix index was up 11.79 points, or 0.46 percent, at 2,561.74.

On the top-tier Prime Market, gainers were led by transportation equipment, electric appliance and precision instrument issues.

The dollar edged up in the lower 148 yen range, spurred by dovish comments from Uchida, who said it is hard to imagine a path of continuous rate hikes even if the central bank decides to end its negative interest rate policy, dealers said.

At noon, the dollar fetched 148.35-36 yen compared with 148.12-22 yen in New York and 147.82-83 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The euro was quoted at $1.0781-0785 and 159.94-160.01 yen against $1.0767-0777 and 159.58-68 yen in New York and $1.0772-0774 and 159.24-28 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday afternoon.

Tokyo share gains accelerated toward the end of the morning session "as Mr. Uchida's comments hinted that accommodative monetary policy is expected to persist," said Toshikazu Horiuchi, equity strategist at IwaiCosmo Securities Co.

Heavyweight components also contributed to the Nikkei's rise, with SoftBank Group, due to report its earnings results later in the day, climbing 9.7 percent after the U.S.-listed shares of its chip design unit Arm Holdings surged overnight following a robust earnings outlook.

© Kyodo News