Japanese stocks rose, with the Topix headed for a third day of gains, as the yen touched a seven-year low against the dollar after minutes of the Federal Reserve highlighted a divergence in global monetary policy.

The Topix added 0.6 percent to 1,404.81 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, with all of its 33 industry groups rising. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.7 percent to 17,403.86. The yen traded at 118.15 per dollar after slumping to 118.25, its weakest level since August 2007.

The Topix rose the past two days as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe postponed a planned sales-tax increase, called a snap election and ordered his ministers to start preparing a stimulus package after a report this week showed the economy had fallen back into recession. A report today showed exports rose 9.6 percent in October from a year earlier, beating the 6.9 percent estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The BOJ yesterday concluded a two-day policy meeting and kept a pledge to expand the monetary base at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen, as forecast by all 31 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.

In the U.S., policy makers weighed their commitment to holding key rates near zero for a œconsiderable time, according to minutes of the Feds October review released yesterday.

Source : Bloomberg