Japanese stocks rose for a second day on speculation central banks will support growth even as the U.S. economy shows signs of strengthening.
The Topix index jumped 0.7 percent to 1,387.23 as of 9:02 a.m. in Tokyo, headed for the biggest two-day rally in almost three weeks. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 1 percent to 17,342.65. The yen slid 0.1 percent to 119.80 per dollar after yesterday falling 0.3 percent. The euro sank to the lowest in nine years against the dollar after the European Central Bank hinted it may soon begin buying government bonds. The Standard & Poor™s 500 Index erased 2015 losses yesterday as investors took comfort the Federal Reserve will act cautiously when considering the timeframe for interest-rate increases.
ECB President Mario Draghi said in a letter published on the bank™s website that policy makers may undertake measures including buying sovereign bonds. Factory data from Germany, which narrowly avoided a recession in the middle of 2014, added to evidence Europe is in an economic slump and strengthened the case for stimulus from the ECB, which meets on Jan. 22.
Since minutes from the Fed™s December meeting were released on Jan. 7, yields on 10-year Treasuries have remained depressed near 18-month lows, indicating less expectation of higher interest rates. That™s boosted risk sentiment in equities, with the MSCI World Index jumping 2.4 percent over the past two days.
A government report on U.S. employment will be released today, with economists expecting an increase of 240,000 jobs, after last month™s surge of 321,000 stoked optimism in the world™s largest economy. Futures on the Standard & Poor™s 500 Index slipped 0.1 percent today after the underlying gauge advanced 1.8 percent yesterday.
Source : Bloomberg