Japanese stocks rose, with the Topix index headed for a seven-year high, as the rally in global equities resumed amid expectations the Federal Reserve will be slower to raise interest rates.
The Topix advanced 0.2 percent to 1,583.14 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, poised for its highest close since November 2007, after capping a ninth straight weekly gain. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.1 percent to 19,584.73. The yen traded at 119.95 per dollar after strengthening 1.1 percent last week. More than $2.4 trillion was added to the value of global stocks in the five days through March 20 as the Fed signaled a slower pace of raising interest rates.
The Topix climbed 12 percent this year through last week, making it the best performer among developed Asian equity markets tracked by Bloomberg, buoyed by central-bank stimulus and stock buying and the $1.1 trillion pension fund’s shift from bonds into the nation’s equities. Three other Japanese public pension funds with about 30.3 trillion yen ($252 billion) said last week they will adopt similar asset-allocation targets to the Government Pension Investment Fund, according to a joint statement on their websites.
E-mini futures on the S&P 500 Index added 0.1 percent after the underlying gauge rallied 0.9 percent on Friday, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced to the highest level in 15 years.