Asian markets traded mixed in the morning despite a strong Wall Street performance overnight, but Japanese stocks reached fresh multi-year peaks on monetary easing speculations.
The Nikkei 225 average index was up 0.43 percent or 53.26 points to 12402.3 while South Korea's KOSPI fell 0.18 percent or 3.55 points to 1999.8. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.12 percent or 6.00 points to 5140.9.
China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.57 percent or 13.22 points to 2323.8. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.56 percent or 129.67 points to 23220.5.
US Stocks had ended earlier with robust gains, as the better-than-expected US jobs data released in the previous week underscored hopes that the economy is on the right track. The S&P 500 surged close to an all-time-high level while the more-widely recognised Dow Industrials continued its longest winning streak in almost a year.
Meanwhile, the CBOE Volatility Index which is often considered Wall Street's primary gauge of investor concerns ended at a multi-year low, indicating healthy sentiments despite the recent concerns on Chinese economy.
"With global markets testing fresh highs, the volatility index moved in the opposite direction falling to a level not seen since 2007 as confidence returned to risk-on assets in spades," said Jason Hughes, head of premium client management at IG Markets in Singapore.
"This is not surprising as this rally is in part fuelled by the QE backstop that risk assets have been given by central banks".
Japanese market sentiments, which have lately been upbeat on economic optimism, continued to surge, pushing the benchmark Nikkei index to its highest level in over four years. The yen persisted at record low levels against the dollar, trading at 96.60, following reports that indicated that the next Bank of Japan governor could initiate monetary easing steps earlier than expected. The greenback has jumped about 11.4 percent in the year-to-date against the Japanese currency.
Minutes of the central bank's February policy meet showed that board members were of the opinion that more easing measures may be needed and considered their options, but decided to hold fire citing the recent economic improvements.
Exporters once again led gains in Tokyo. Electronic major Panasonic was up 7.16 percent while TDK Corp added 6.17 percent. Automobile major Mitsubishi Motors Corp rose 5.56 percent.
Property stocks traded higher in Hong Kong. Sino Land Company and New World Development Company rose 2.71 percent each. Sun Hung Kai Properties was up 1.13 percent.
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