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Japan Stocks Add To Gains; Sydney, Seoul Rebound

 

(MarketWatch) — Japanese stocks extended gains Tuesday on hopes for further monetary easing under a new central bank chief, while Australian shares rebounded strongly from the previous day’s losses in the wake of positive cues from Wall Street.

The Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.8% in Tokyo, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.5% and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.7%.

Japanese shares had on Monday defied broad regional losses led by Chinese stocks after Beijing imposed a fresh set of curbs on the property sector, with the real estate and financial sectors helping to support the market.

U.S. investors on Monday shrugged off the losses in Shanghai, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) to its second-highest level on record, with investors buying up defensive firms. Read: Stock gain lifts Dow average to second- highest level.

The rise in Tokyo came a day after the government’s nominee for Bank of Japan Gov., Haruhiko Kuroda, made remarks favoring bolder monetary policies to meet the central bank’s recently-adopted target of achieving a 2% inflation.

Kuroda is expected to succeed incumbent Masaaki Shirakawa, who will be stepping down on March 19.

Finance Minister Taro Aso said at a press conference Tuesday that he expects Kuroda to handle monetary policy in line with the joint pact signed by the BOJ earlier this year, aimed at spurring a sluggish economy.

Heavyweight stock Fast Retailing Co. (FRCOY) fronted the advance, jumping 4.6% after reporting a 9.6% increase in sales at its Uniqlo casual clothing chain in February.

Real-estate and banking shares climbed further amid an improved economic outlook, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. ( MTU ) and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. ( MFG ) adding 1.5% each, while Japan Real Estate Investment Corp. gained 1.1%.

The retail sector climbed in Sydney after data showing industry sales rose 0.9% on an adjusted basis in January, beating economist expectations for a 0.4% gain.

Myer Holdiings Ltd. gained 3.4%, while David Jones Ltd. advanced 2.4%.

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