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Japanese, European stocks jump on stimulus hope

A couple stand by an electronic stock board

A couple stand by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 15, 2016. Japanese stocks rocketed Monday, leading most Asian markets higher after dismal growth data raised hopes of extra stimulus for the world's third-biggest economy, weakening the yen. Credit: AP / Koji Sasahara

HONG KONG — World stocks rallied Monday, led by a jump in Japan’s main index, amid hopes for more stimulus from central banks in Europe and Japan.

With Wall Street closed for Presidents Day, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 soared 7.2 percent to close at 16,022.58, rebounding from last week’s slump to post its second biggest one-day gain in three years.

That led to big gains in Europe, where Britain’s FTSE 100 closed 2 percent higher at 5,824.28 and Germany’s DAX gained 2.7 percent to 9,206.84.

Stocks began rallying after government data showed Japan’s economy shrank 1.4 percent on an annualized basis last quarter because of weak consumer demand and slower exports. It’s a setback for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic revival program, which aims to stoke inflation through massive monetary easing. However, the report also gives the government more reason to open the stimulus taps wider to restore growth, economists said.

The euro fell sharply after the European Central Bank reiterated that more stimulus would be considered at the next policy meeting in March.

U.S. futures, meanwhile, rose. Dow futures up 1.2 percent and those for the S & P 500 up 1.3 percent. — AP


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