Japan Stocks Looking Strong

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average extended gains from a 15-year high. Oil headed for its first weekly loss in a month as record U.S. supplies reinforced concern over a glut, and gold rallied.

The Nikkei 225 added 0.4 percent by 11:12 a.m. in Tokyo, while the broader Topix index headed for a fifth straight weekly gain as the cost of insuring Japanese corporate debt held near a three-month low. U.S. index futures were little changed. Energy companies led declines in Australia as oil in New York headed for a 2.4 percent loss for the week. Gold rose 0.2 percent to pare a weekly drop and nickel traded near a one-year low.

Record stimulus from the Bank of Japan is helping drive local stocks as the Government Pension Investment Fund increases its allocation to equities. The U.S. is stepping up its efforts to encourage Greek and European leaders to find a compromise on maintaining funding to the euro region’s most indebted country. Markets in most of Asia remained closed for Lunar New Year holidays Friday.


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