Nikkei 225 stock index sets new 34-year high

Tokyo's benchmark stock index hit a new 34-year high for the second straight day on Friday. This came after the Dow Jones Industrial Average in New York set record highs for two consecutive days.

The Nikkei 225 ended the day at 36,897, up 0.1 percent from Thursday. In intraday trading it briefly topped the 37,000 mark for the first time since February 1990. Export-related shares such as semiconductors led the gainers as the yen weakened against the dollar.

The Nikkei index has surged 10 percent since the beginning of the year as foreign investors recognize opportunities among Japanese stocks.

Analysts say such investors are buying into the view that Japan's economy and businesses are poised for new growth. This view is also attracting funds from China's markets where the economy is slowing.