Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index extending its firstly monthly gain since October, as Japanese shares climbed after the yen weakened against the dollar on a drop in U.S. jobless claims.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.3 percent to 140.91 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge has risen 2.2 percent in January, led by a surge in Hong Kong shares. The European Central Bank unveiled a plan this month to join the Bank of Japan in unprecedented monetary easing.
Japan™s Topix index rose 1 percent as the yen traded at 118.28 per dollar after falling 0.6 percent yesterday. South Korea™s Kospi index and Australia™s S&P/ASX 200 Index each gained 0.6 percent. New Zealand™s NZX 50 Index slid 0.2 percent. Markets in China and Hong Kong have yet to open.
Hong Kong™s Hang Seng Index jumped 4.2 percent this month, with Tencent Holdings Ltd. surging 20 percent amid optimism Asia™s second-largest Internet company will diversify its revenue sources. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.9 percent, as regulators curb margin lending at brokerages, after gains of 21 percent and 11 percent the previous two months.