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Japan’s Nikkei higher on G7 currency pledge

Japan’s stocks posted solid morning gains Friday after the Group of Seven major industrial nations agreed to intervene in currency markets to help the earthquake-stricken nation.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.8 percent, or 158.26 points, to 9,120.93. While the G-7 did not say what it would do, the implication is that actions were under way to ensure the yen does not spiral upward.

The Kyodo News agency said Japan’s government intervened in currency markets after the G7 statement but there was no immediate official confirmation of that.

A stronger yen hurts Japan’s powerhouse export sector — potentially dealing another problem to an economy already wracked by an earthquake, tsunami and evolving nuclear crisis.

The G-7 pledge adds to a flurry of moves by Japan to calm roiled financial markets following the 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami on March 11. The Bank of Japan injected an additional 6 trillion yen ($76.7 billion) in same-day funds Thursday that banks can access immediately. From Monday to Wednesday, the central bank’s emergency funding totaled 55.6 trillion yen ($688.3 billion).

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