By Laura He, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- Japan stocks advanced to their best closing level in 15 years on Monday, extending a four-day winning streak, as markets tracked a rally in the U.S. equities at the end of last week.
The Nikkei Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.27% rose 0.7% to 18,466.92, the highest settlement since April 2000. The broader Topix /zigman2/quotes/210598092/delayed JP:180460 +0.93% edged up 0.2%.
The yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0477% weakened versus the greenback, trading at ¥119.23 from ¥119.07 late Friday in New York.
In Japan, top outperformers included electronics component supplier TDK Corporation /zigman2/quotes/208948266/delayed JP:6762 +2.34% , jumping 2.4%, camera maker Olympus Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200860615/delayed JP:7733 +1.78% , gaining 2.3%, rival Nikon Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203281219/delayed JP:7731 +1.83% , adding 1.1%, and auto maker Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208298710/delayed JP:7201 +2.88% , up 1.5%.
However, auto-parts provider Takata Corporation fell 2.6%, after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it would fine the company $14,000 per day for failing to fully cooperate with the agency’s probe into its defective air bags.
Other Asian markets also recorded broad gains. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +1.15% finished up 0.5%, and Seoul’s Kospi Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +1.81% settled 0.4% higher.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong stocks seesawed in their post-holiday return, with the Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +2.96% ending up less than 0.1%.
Mainland Chinese stocks markets remained closed for the Lunar New Year. They were due to reopen on Wednesday.