Tokyo, Japan (BBN)-Shares in Japan opened sharply higher on Monday as investors continued to cheer Friday’s surprise move by the central bank to cut its rates.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was up 1.5 per cent on opening, but lost some ground later to be up 1.2 per cent at 17,729.40, reports BBC.
The benchmark closed up almost 3 per cent on Friday after the Bank of Japan cut its rates to -0.1 per cent.
The move is designed to spur inflation, investment and spending.
Analysts said it was a turning point for the bank.
“They have made it clear that they can take interest rates deeper into negative territory from here and, given its current quantitative easing (QE) program seems deemed to fail, one should expect the use of negative interest rates far more prominently,” said IG Markets’ Chris Weston.
In Australia, the ASX 200 was up 0.88 per cent at 5,047.30 following gains in the US.
In South Korea, the Kospi index was up 0.64 per cent in early trade, but lost ground later to be up 0.25 per cent at 1,9217.75.
Disappointing trade numbers released early on Monday showed exports contracted 18.5 per cent in January from a year earlier.
It marks the 13th month in a row the nation’s exports have shrunk and is the worst result for exports since mid 2009.
Imports also contracted for the period by 20.1 per cent.
Manufacturing activity in China, the world’s second biggest economy, shrank more than expected in January from a month earlier, hurting investor sentiment.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.3 per cent in early trade at 19,622.19, while the Shanghai Composite was down 0.55 per cent at 2,724.28.
China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 49.4 for the month compared to December’s reading of 49.7.
The numbers mark the sixth month of contraction in the sector.
Expectations were for a reading of 49.6 for the month.
A reading of above 50 indicates activity has grown, while a reading of below 50 indicates activity has contracted.