Japanese stocks rose as investors looked for bargains and weighed prospects for central bank stimulus amid the biggest monthly drop for the Topix in more than seven years.
The Topix index jumped 2 percent to 1,328.08 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, after closing Thursday down 16 percent in January, on course for the biggest monthly drop since October 2008. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average surged 2 percent to 16,336.47, also supported by a report the Bank of Japan is considering extra stimulus. Both gauges fell more than 20 percent through Thursday from 2015 highs. Global equities halted losses Thursday on the brink of a bear market as oil rallied and the European Central Bank signaled it may boost stimulus.
The Topix’s 14-day relative strength index closed at 21.29 Thursday, below the level of 30 that some traders say indicates shares will rise. When the measure slid to 24.4 on Jan. 12, the Topix jumped 2.9 percent the next day.
The Nikkei 225 last entered a bear market in June 2013, after plunging 20 percent in less than a month. The gauge soon rebounded, rallying 31 percent from its low on June 13, 2013, through the end of that year.