Japan Leads Asian Equities Higher

Asian markets turned higher early Monday, with Japanese shares charging up to a 8-year high, shrugging off weaker-than-expected growth figures released before the market opened.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index broke above the 18,000 level, hitting its highest level since July 2007, following data that showed the world’s third-largest economy crawling out of recession in the final quarter of 2014. Gross domestic product grew an annualized 2.2 percent, but missed a Reuters poll expecting a 3.7 percent gain. Meanwhile, dollar-yen hovered near a one-and-a-half-week low of 118.7.

“Although we need to look at some of this economic data, we also need to think about what’s happening in the background. There are signs of wage increase, higher household income and very low unemployment. All these argue for a more robust Japan,” Alexander Treves, head of Equities, Japan at Fidelity Worldwide Investment, said.


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