Japanese stocks rose for a third day, led by energy companies after crude oil prices gained and the yen held losses against the dollar.

The Topix added 0.5 percent to 1,417.10 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo as all but two of its 33 industry groups advanced. The measure has erased it losses for December and is on course to rise 8.7 percent this year. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.2 percent to 17,651.33 today. The Bank of Japan releases its December economic report today. The yen traded at 119.50 per dollar after weakening for three sessions last week as the Federal Reserve said it will be patient in raising U.S. interest rates.

The Standard & Poors 500 Index jumped 3.4 percent last week after the Fed comments sparked a three-day rally in U.S. stocks. Futures on the gauge were little changed today.

The BOJ last week maintained the expansion of its monetary base at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen ($676 billion).

Brent crude oil increased 0.7 percent to $61.79 a barrel after rallying on Dec. 19 by the most since October 2012.

The U.S. updates on third-quarter gross domestic product tomorrow, with economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicting annualized growth will be revised up to 4.3 percent for the three-month period, from a previous estimate of 3.9 percent. Data on housing, goods orders and personal consumption in the worlds largest economy are also due this week.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last week that policy makers are likely to hold key rates near zero at least through the first quarter, even as the U.S. economy strengthens. The central bank, in a statement after its last meeting of 2014, replaced a reference to borrowing costs staying low for a œconsiderable time with a pledge to be patient on the timing.

Source : Bloomberg