Nikkei closes past the 20,000 mark

<p>This is the first time since 2000.</p>

The Nikkei Stock Average closed above the 20,000 points mark today (April 22nd) for the first time since 2000, driven by exporters' shares and expectations of strong earnings as companies are due to release their results for the year ended March.

Speculation that the Bank of Japan will unveils further monetary easing measures at its April 30th meeting also boosted trading sentiment.

Many analysts also believe the higher Nikkei is a result of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policies known as "Abenomics", which combine aggressive monetary expansion, fiscal stimulus and structural reforms designed to revive the economy and end years of stagnation.

“Our policies have taken about two years to kick in, but we’ve finally gotten this far,” said Mr. Abe’s chief spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, today. “Now we have more confidence to keep moving forward.”

The Nikkei average of 225 stocks closed up 1.1 per cent, to 20133.90, the first close above the 20,000 mark since April 14, 2000.

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