Japan led Asian stocks higher early Monday as automaker Nissan announced its biggest-ever buyback, boosting its shares as much as 12 percent.
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 percent as Nissan held onto gains of about 9 percent. South Korea's KOSPI and Singapore's STI both advanced 0.3 percent. Australia's ASX 200 gained 0.9 percent.
Nissan on Friday said it would buy spend as much as $3.5 billion to back up to 300 million shares, almost 7 percent of its stock. The shares had fallen 24 percent this year despite forecasting record profit in the year to March, fueled by U.S. sales of its Rogue crossover vehicle and other models.
Nissan's gain helped overshadow mixed economic data Monday, which showed industrial production picked up in January, while retail sales fell for a third straight month.
Some investors took heart from statements by finance ministers of the G-20 after their meeting in Shanghai this weekend. They indicated their intention to boost global growth without overreliance on interest-rate cuts and currency devaluations. Some see the latter as quick ways for a country to boost its economy, with potentially dire consequences including bubbles and currency wars. The ministers did not lay out new stimulus plans, and Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said there was no discussion of his cutting BOJ rates below zero last month, Bloomberg reported.
“The G-20 is saying all the right things, so the comments may be seen as soothing by financial markets,” Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at fund manager AMP Capital Investors Ltd. in Sydney, as Bloomberg reported. “But I am not convinced that it means a lot more coordinated policy stimulus is about to follow.”