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Japanese shares to ride the bull wave

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tokyo shares are expected to gain further ground next week as the market drinks in the impact of sweeping new Bank of Japan stimulus measures.

"The current bullish sentiment is expected to stay strong for the time being as expectations from the government and the BoJ are quite high," said Hirokazu Fujiki, strategist with Okasan Securities.

The scope of the Band of Japan action Thursday -- including doubling the money supply -- took some analysts and investors by surprise, despite expectations of major moves by the bank in its first meeting under new governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

On Friday, Tokyo stocks jumped on a huge trading volume -- the biggest since the Tokyo Stock Exchange opened in 1949 -- as investors embraced the BoJ measures which sent the yen plunging, a welcome boost to the key export sector.

Monetary easing tends to weaken yen, which makes Japanese goods more competitive overseas and lifts companies' foreign-earned profits when converted back to yen.

"Some shares may face profit-taking depending upon their business performance, but the market will easily top the 13,000 level next week," Fujiki said.

In the past week to April 5, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 435.73 points, or 3.51 percent, to 12,833.64.

The Topix index of all first section shares gained 31.53 points, or 3.05 percent, to 1,066.24.

Investors have so far given a thumbs up to the economic policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, dubbed "Abenomics", after he swept December elections on a pledge to kickstart Japan's lumbering economy.

"Abenomics appears to be working perfectly," Fujiki said. "But there is no magic wand. We still need to check if wages can be actually hiked and if the current massive money supply can really create investment."

Among key US indicators the market will focus on next week are the Producers' Price Index (PPI) and retail sales, both for March.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130405/japanese-shares-ride-the-bull-wave