Asian stocks rose for a second day, following gains in U.S. shares as weaker-than-expected economic data spurred bets the Federal Reserve won’t rush to raise interest rates.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.1 percent to 153.37 as of 9:06 a.m. in Tokyo after rising 1.4 percent last week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index extended a record Friday after data showed an unexpected drop in consumer confidence. Equities rose last week after selling that erased $400 billion from fixed-income markets subsided.
Japan’s Topix index added 0.5 percent. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. plans to buy back more shares and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is raising its dividend as the nation’s largest lenders increase shareholder returns amid higher profits. Mitsubishi UFJ climbed 1.8 percent and Mizuho rose 1.9 percent.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.2 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index was little changed. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.2 percent.