Tokyo dealers eye BoJ nominees' speeches next week

Japanese investors will be looking to speeches next week from the men nominated to take the helm at the Bank of Japan, hoping for clues to their plans to kickstart the economy, analysts said.

Over the past week, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 1.94 percent, or 220.44 points, to 11,606.38 while the broader Topix index of all first section shares advanced 2.16 percent, or 20.85 points, to 984.33.

The Nikkei kicked off the week by surging 2.43 percent on Monday as the yen sank on reports the new government was set to nominate Asian Development Bank president Haruhiko Kuroda as the next central bank governor.

Kuroda, whose nomination was confirmed on Thursday, is a supporter of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's prescription for Japan's ailing economy: big spending and aggressive monetary easing.

Kuroda and his two deputies, who are still to be given the nod by lawmakers, are scheduled to deliver policy speeches in parliament next week.

"We know Mr Kuroda will keep monetary easing. The question is how he will do that and, if he mentions something like increasing the purchase of assets such as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), that would boost the stock market," said Seiichi Suzuki, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Securities.

An ETF is an investment fund traded on a bourse that generally tracks a commodity or index such as the S&P 500 in New York.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Tokyo stocks fell on concerns about uncertainty in Italy, as the final results of parliamentary elections showed the coalition of leftist leader Pier Luigi Bersani had won the lower house but no party had taken the upper house, leaving the country in a political stalemate.

The inconclusive elections raised fears about whether debt-hit Rome will continue with its unpopular austerity measures aimed at paying down its debt, and the possible repercussions for the wider eurozone.