U.S. stocks fluctuated amid expanded stimulus measures from the European Central Bank that were tempered by concern the moves may not be enough to counter a dim growth outlook for the the region.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.2 percent to 1,993.89 at 9:37 a.m. in New York, after the gauge rose yesterday for the sixth time in seven days.
Speculation for additional moves from the ECB to boost growth, along with stability in oil prices and improving U.S. data have helped global equities rebound during the prior three weeks. The U.S. equity benchmark has jumped 8.8 percent since a 22-month low last month, trimming its losses for 2016 amid speculation that monetary policy around the world will support global growth.
Japanese stocks rose for the first time in four days as a weaker yen boosted exporters and investors awaited a policy decision by the European Central Bank.
The Topix index added 1.5 percent to 1,352.17 at the close in Tokyo, with more than eight shares rising for each that fell. Volume was about 29 percent lower than the 30-day average. The gauge lost 3.1 percent over the previous three sessions after a three-week rally of 15 percent. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 1.3 percent to 16,852.35 on Thursday, while the yen slid 0.3 percent to 113.69 per dollar. Most Asian shares advanced on speculation central banks will take steps to bolster growth.
Carmakers and electrical-appliance manufacturers were the biggest boosts to the Topix. Toyota Motor Corp. climbed 3 percent, while Sony Corp. added 4.2 percent. Nippon Paper Industries Co. jumped 6.7 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG raised its rating on the stock. Kansai Electric Power Co. plunged 15 percent after a court issued an injunction preventing the utility from operating two of its nuclear reactors due to safety concerns.