Stocks in Tokyo extended an 11-week high, capping a second straight weekly gain that has pushed the Topix index close to a bull market, after Bloomberg reported the Bank of Japan is considering steps to provide relief to financial institutions. Banks surged in afternoon trading.
The Topix rose 1 percent to 1,407.50 at the close in Tokyo, reversing losses from before the BOJ report. The measure ended the week 3.4 percent higher to take its gain the past fortnight to more than 9 percent. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 1.2 percent to 17,572.49. The yen weakened 0.8 percent to 110.32 per dollar.
The BOJ may consider helping financial institutions by offering a negative rate on some loans, according to people familiar with talks at the central bank. Such a discussion could happen in conjunction with a decision to make a deeper cut to the BOJ’s current reserve rate, which is already in negative territory, said the people, who asked not to be named as the matter is private.