Japanese stocks rose as the yen weakened after the Federal Reserve confirmed that the barriers to raising interest rates this year are getting smaller.
The Topix index climbed 0.8 percent to 1,646.58 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, with airlines leading gains while agriculture companies dropped. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.7 percent to 20,451.79. The yen traded at 123.95 per dollar after weakening 0.3 percent on Wednesday, when Fed policy makers said the U.S. labor and housing markets had improved, while refraining from providing a clear signal on the timing for interest-rate increases.
The U.S. will report second-quarter gross domestic product on Thursday, with economists expecting annualized growth of 2.5 percent, recovering from the previous quarter’s 0.2 percent contraction.
Japanese industrial production rose 2 percent in June from a year earlier year, beating economists’ estimates for a 1.3 percent gain, a preliminary reading on Thursday showed. That followed a 3.9 percent decline in May.