Asian stocks rose after four weeks of gains, tracking a global rally that sent U.S. equities to their highest this year, as Japanese shares led the advance.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.6 percent to 127.47 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, extending its gain from this year’s low to 13 percent. The focus now turns to policy decisions this week by the Bank of Japan, the Federal Reserve and others after stocks jumped on Friday as investors reevaluated the European Central Bank’s stimulus. Chinese data over the weekend showed industrial production and retail sales both slowed in the first two months of the year, highlighting the pressure leaders face to meet this year’s growth target.
The Asian equity measure has pared its loss for 2016 to 3.5 percent, spurred by a rebound in oil, other commodities and banking shares. Stocks in Shanghai are still one of the worst performers among 93 primary indexes tracked by Bloomberg with a 21 percent drop this year.