Tokyo, Japan (BBN)-Stocks in Japan were leading gains in Asia early on Monday, after Wall Street closed at its highest level so far this year on Friday.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was up 1.6 per cent to 17,206.34 points in morning trade, reports BBC.
Investor sentiment in Japan was given a boost as official machinery orders data showed a 15 per cent jump in January from December, beating estimates.
Japan’s machinery orders are considered a way of measuring capital spending in the next six to nine months.
“Today’s data on machinery orders suggest that capital spending will continue to expand this quarter,” said Japan economist Marcel Thieliant.
“While a near-term slowdown is likely, we expect the recovery in capital expenditure to resume towards the end of this year,” he added.
Meanwhile, Japan’s central bank commences its two-day meeting later.
Ahead of the meeting, the International Monetary Fund backed Japan’s recent decision to introduce negative interest rates to spur growth.
The head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, said unconventional monetary policies should continue if they are accompanied by structural reforms and low inflation.
Elsewhere, Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 1.07 per cent to 5,207.10 helped by energy-related stocks which were higher after a rise in oil prices.
South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index was up 0.23 per cent to 1,9785.9.
Official numbers out on the weekend showed China’s industrial output slowed to its weakest growth since the financial crisis.
Over the January and February period, production rose by 5.4 per cent – the worst since 2008.
Retail sales in the first two months of the year fell short of expectations, growing by 10.2 per cent – compared to forecasts for a 10.9 per cent rise.
The numbers add to concerns over China’s slowdown and the global recovery.
Speaking over the weekend, the governor of China’s central bank, Zhou Xiaochuan, said the government would be able to achieve an economic growth target of about 6.5 per cent for the next five years without the need to introduce excessive stimulus measures.
“Excessive monetary policy stimulus isn’t necessary to achieve the target,” he said.
“If there isn’t any big economic or financial turmoil, we’ll keep prudent monetary policy.”
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.7 per cent to 20,338.50, while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.78 per cent to 2,832.91.