TOKYO- Tokyo stocks rose 0.56 percent on Friday to a more than seven-year high, recovering earlier losses after the yen slid further against the dollar.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 98.04 points to 17,490.83, its best close since July 2007, while the Topix index of all first-section shares gained 0.78 percent, or 10.90 points, to 1,400.41.
The market opened in the red as investors cashed in on their recent gains, but it swung back to positive territory before the closing bell as the yen weakened in afternoon trading.
The dollar surged to 116.24 yen, its highest since late 2007, from 115.75 yen in New York late Thursday.
A weak yen tends to lift shares of Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive abroad and boosts the yen value of their repatriated profits.
Investors are keeping a close eye on the release Monday of Japanese economic growth data for the July-September quarter, analyst said.
Also in focus are reports that the government is considering a delay to next year’s planned sales tax hike, as well as a snap election next month.
Tokyo has said the growth figures will be key to its decision on whether or not to usher in a second sales tax hike in October.
Hopes for a delay have buoyed Tokyo stocks after a levy hike in April — the country’s first in 17 years — threw Japan’s economic recovery into reverse and threatened to plunge the country back into recession.
“The real key will be Monday’s third-quarter GDP data, which will essentially make or break the case for putting off the tax hike,” said Takashi Matsumoto, a director at Okasan Securities.
“If the data come in as expected, however, and long-term foreign investors become interested in Japan equities again, a Nikkei year-end finish above 18,000 becomes possible, if not likely,” he added.
Toyota rose 0.56 percent to 6,969.0 yen, Honda jumped 2.59 percent to 3,720.0 yen and Panasonic was up 0.69 percent at 1,446.5 yen.
Auto parts maker Takata lost 0.40 percent to end at 1,226.0 yen after it confirmed US justice authorities have opened a criminal investigation into an airbag defect linked to at least five drivers’ deaths.