Asian markets gain after Japan central bank boosts aid

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FILE - In this March 16, 2020, filer photo, Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda speaks during a news conference in Tokyo. Japans central bank on Monday, April 27, 2020, announced it is making it easier for cash-strapped companies to get funding in response to the growing economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

BEIJING – Asian stock markets gained Monday after Japan's central bank promised more asset purchases to shore up financial markets as investors look to central bankers to support the struggling global economy.

Tokyo's benchmark surged 2.4% and Shanghai, Hong Kong and Sydney also gained.

Investors also are looking ahead to meetings of U.S. and European central banks this week for signs of more measures to reverse the deepest global slump since the 1930s. The meetings this week come as mounting evidence shows the coronavirus pandemic’s economic damage is even worse than expected.

The Bank of Japan said it will buy an additional 15 trillion yen ($140 billion) of commercial paper and bank loans. It also lifted its ceiling on purchases of Japanese government bonds, which it has been buying for years to help stave off deflation in Japan's shrinking and aging economy.

That is a “significant increase from the timid 2 trillion yen" in purchases announced in March, Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in a report.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Federal Reserve is more likely to announce it will wait to see the impact of earlier stimulus measures before taking more action, Hayaki Narita of Mizuho Bank said in a report. The European Central Bank “will likely keep its options for easing open.”

This week’s other potentially market-moving events include data from the United States, China, Japan, Germany and France on inflation, trade, industrial activity and retail spending.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7% to 2,828.13 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 2.4% to 19,722.13. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 1.6% to 25,223.06.