Japanese Stocks Advance After Yen Weakens


Japan's stocks gained after the yen weakened against the dollar, boosting the value of overseas sales for companies such as Honda Motor Co. and Hitachi Ltd.

Honda Motor Co., Japan's second-largest carmaker, rose 1.2 percent, while Hitachi advanced for the first time in three days. Inpex Holdings Inc., Japan's largest oil explorer, was headed for its highest close in more than a month after oil advanced to a record $101.32 a barrel in New York.

The yen weakened against 13 of the 16 most-active currencies yesterday as accelerating U.S. inflation reduced speculation the Federal Reserve will be aggressive in lowering interest rates. U.S. stocks climbed, led by energy shares.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average jumped 232.62, or 1.8 percent, to 13,542.99 as of 9:12 a.m. The broader Topix index advanced 20.78, or 1.6 percent, to 1,323.50.

The yen weakened against the dollar to 108.03 from 107.74 at the close of stock market trading in Tokyo yesterday. A weaker yen increases the value of Japanese companies' overseas sales when converted into the local currency.

Nikkei futures expiring in March climbed 1.9 percent to 13,550 in Osaka and rose 1.7 percent to 13,565 in Singapore.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
2/20/2008 4:28:09 PM