Japanese stocks rose for a second day, led by brokerages, as the yen weakened against the dollar ahead of policy meetings by the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank.
Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s biggest securities company, added 2.3 percent. Kobe Steel Ltd. climbed 4.7 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG raised its share price target on the company. Trading company Itochu Corp. lost 2.7 percent, reversing earlier gains, after saying it’s considering a joint investment in Citic Ltd. with Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group. Another trading house, Sojitz Corp., dropped 1.9 percent after JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut its rating on the stock.
The Topix index added 1.2 percent to 1,388.87 at the trading break in Tokyo, with all but one of its 33 industry groups rising. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 1.5 percent to 17,265.40. The yen weakened for a third day, dropping 0.5 percent to 118.15 per dollar. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 0.1 percent. U.S. markets were closed Monday for Martin Luther King Day.