TOKYO, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The Nikkei average extended gains
on Thursday afternoon after Japan's main opposition leader,
Shinzo Abe, who is expected to win next month's election, said
he wants the Bank of Japan to adopt interest rates of zero or
below zero to enhance lending.
His comments pushed the yen to a 6-1/2-month low against the
dollar at 80.83, a boost for Japanese exporters who gain when
returning overseas earnings to Japan and lifting their future
The Nikkei rallied 1.8 percent to 8,817.88, hitting
a one-week high, on track for its biggest one-day percentage
gain in a month.
"The stock market cheers Abe's comment indicating further
easing, and is inviting buying," said Chisato Haganuma, chief
strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities.
"The stock market is not a fan of uncertainty, and by this
comment, investors finally get the feeling that there is more
clarity in this country's political climate."
Among the exporters rallying were Toyota Motor Corp
, Honda Motor Co, Canon Inc and TDK
Corp, up between 3.9 and 4.6 percent.
The broader Topix index climbed 2 percent to 736.17.