Japan Stocks Move Higher Again

Japanese shares rose, led by precision instrument makers, after the European Central Bank committed to begin asset purchases and ahead of a U.S. payrolls report.

Sekisui House Ltd. gained 2.6 percent after saying it will buy back as much as 20 billion yen ($183 million) of shares. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co. jumped 9.1 percent after Nomura Holdings Inc. raised its target price on the stock. FamilyMart Co. slumped 2.9 percent after Japan’s third-largest convenience-store operator said it’s in talks on a merger with department-store chain Uny Group Holdings Co. Uny surged 8.7 percent.

The Topix index added 0.8 percent to 1,535.16 at the trading break in Tokyo, set to cap seven straight weeks of gains. Volume was 10 percent below the 30-day intraday average. The Nikkei 225 rose 1 percent to 18,939.83, on course for a 0.8 percent weekly increase. European Central Bank president Mario Draghi set a start date of Monday for his 1.1 trillion euro ($1.2 trillion) bond-buying program, and said the stimulus will spur the euro area’s fastest economic growth since 2007.

Bloomberg

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