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japan trade data

Japan stock market has traded higher, despite the latest trade figures showing exports falling for a third straight month.

Its exports fell by 8% in December 2015 from a year earlier, suggesting that China’s slowdown continues to affect demand.

The Nikkei 225 index rose 0.9%, closing at 17,110.91, building on January 22 rally when it climbed almost 6%.

Global stock markets surged late last week on hints that central banks in Europe and Japan would continue monetary easing.

On January 21, sentiment got a boost as European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi suggested the bank would review its policies in March and could launch further stimulus.

Photo AsiaNews

Photo AsiaNews

One day later, media reports suggested that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) would also ease further.

The BOJ is set for its first meeting of 2016 later this week, where it is expected to make a policy announcement as weak growth and a drop in oil prices weigh on its attempts to lift inflation.

Led by energy shares, Chinese markets also continued last week’s strong finish, trading higher both in Hong Kong and on the mainland markets.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose by 1.5% to 19,373.09, while the Shanghai Composite edged 0.4% higher to 2,926.04.

In Australia, the benchmark S&P ASX 200 closed 1.8% up at 5,006.60 points.

The commodity-heavy market was helped by a rebound in both oil and iron ore prices.

In South Korea, the Kospi index followed the region’s trend, increasing 0.7% to close the day at 1,893.43 points.

Japan’s stock market headed higher on September 17 despite trade data for August coming in below market expectations.

Japanese exports rose 3.1% from a year ago, falling short of the 4% predicted, while imports fell a more-than-expected 3.1% in the same period.

Investors also ignored a credit rating downgrade for Japan by S&P rating agency, because of a weakening outlook for the economy.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed up 1.4% to 18,432.27.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

The index has risen for a third consecutive day.

Australian shares headed higher, following the global lead, after US shares were positive ahead of the Federal Reserve’s decision on whether to raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade.

In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 0.9% to 5,146.80 points.

Chinese shares headed higher, following on from yesterday’s trend, when mainland shares rallied to close up nearly 5%.

The Shanghai Composite was up 1.6% to 3,202.42, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was higher by 0.6% at 22,089.24 in afternoon trade.

South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index finished trading flat at 1,976.49 as investors awaited the Fed’s decision.