Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index heading for its fourth day of advances, as shares in Tokyo extended Friday’s rally after the Bank of Japan stepped up its monetary stimulus.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.4 percent to 121.82 as of 9:05 a.m. in Tokyo, extending its longest winning streak of the year as optimism grew that central banks around the world will support financial markets.

Policy makers took the sting out of the worst start to a year since 2009 for global equities, helping to ease a selloff that wiped more than $5 trillion from market value. The European Central Bank’s indication it could expand stimulus as soon as March was followed by the Federal Reserve standing pat on interest rates and noting its concern over the global situation. The BOJ outdid them both, shocking investors Friday by joining the ECB in imposing negative rates, a strategy once considered unthinkable among central bankers that’s aimed at stoking spending.

Japan’s Topix index jumped 1.2 percent, adding to Friday’s 2.9 percent surge, as the yen maintained losses near a six-week low. South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 0.2 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.9 percent. New Zealand’s benchmark gauge increased 0.4 percent.

Futures on the FTSE China A50 Index added 0.4 percent in most recent trading, while those for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.7 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index rallied 3.1 percent on Friday amid speculation the steepest monthly selloff since the global financial crisis was overdone, while the central bank injected more liquidity into the financial system to avert a cash crunch before this month’s holidays.

Source : Bloomberg