Tokyo stocks push global rally in opening deals

Tokyo stocks push global rally in opening deals

Toky0 - Tokyo stocks extended a global rally at the start of trading on Monday despite further signs of a slowdown in China's massive economy as investors awaited a Bank of Japan policy meeting for trading cues.

Confidence returned to US and European financial markets on Friday after investors digested the European Central Bank's massive stimulus package.

In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.28 per cent, or 216.65 points, to 17,155.52 in opening deals, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares gained 1.20 per cent, or 16.29 points, to 1,375.61.

Markets are now looking to see if the Bank of Japan unleashes any measures to counter sluggish growth in the world's number three economy at its two-day policy meeting starting on Monday.

Also in focus is a Federal Reserve meeting from Tuesday.

"Central banks are going to be dominating market sentiment," Matthew Sherwood, head of investment strategy at Perpetual Ltd in Sydney, told Bloomberg News.

"That could be enough for the risk rally to continue, but I think it is starting to run out of steam." On Monday, Tokyo's gains came despite a fresh sign over the weekend of a deepening slowdown in China's economy - the world's second-largest and a key driver of global growth.

China's industrial production during the first two months of the year grew at its slowest rate since the global financial crisis, official figures showed on Saturday.

On Wall Street on Friday, the Dow closed 1.3 per cent higher. The S&P 500 added 1.6 per cent and the Nasdaq led the advance, soaring 1.8 per cent.

In Europe, stocks also rose. Frankfurt ended the day up 3.5 per cent and Paris advanced 3.3 per cent. Outside the eurozone, London gained 1.7 per cent.

On currency markets, the dollar fetched 113.75 yen (S$1.37) against 113.79 yen in New York on Friday.

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