Japanese Shares Rise, Driving Nikkei 225 to Highest in 15 Years

Japanese stocks rose for a second day, with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average headed for a 15-year high. Banks led gains.

The Nikkei 225 added 0.6 percent to 20,028.67 as of 9:04 a.m. in Tokyo, poised for its highest close since April 2000. The Topix index climbed 0.4 percent to 1,615.98, trading at its highest level since November 2007. Two shares rose for every one that fell. The yen held at 119.69 per dollar after weakening the past two days.

Energy shares fell as crude oil slid for a second day after Saudi Arabia halted airstrikes against neighboring Yemen and ahead of data that’s forecast to show U.S. stockpiles rose from already record levels.

Japanese exports in March rose 8.5 percent from the previous year, matching economist estimates, data from the Ministry of Finance showed. Imports fell 14.5 percent from last year, greater than the expectation for a loss of 12.6 percent.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 0.1 percent after the underlying measure lost 0.2 percent on Tuesday in New York.

Source: Bloomberg