Japanese shares rose, with the Topix index heading for its first weekly gain this year, after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi expanded stimulus.
The Topix advanced 1 percent to 1,403.88 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, heading for a weekly jump of 2.9 percent as all but one of its 33 industry groups rose. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 1.1 percent to 17,516.43, on course for a 3.8 percent increase this week. The yen slid 0.2 percent to 118.71 per dollar.
The ECB pledged to buy government bonds as part of an asset-buying program worth around 1.1 trillion euros ($1.2 trillion). In addition to monthly purchases, the monetary authority also reduced the cost of long-term loans to banks.
Draghi announced an expanded asset-purchase program, including private and public securities, of up to 60 billion euros a month. The buying will continue through September 2016. The announcement came after the ECB kept benchmark rates unchanged at record lows.