Japanese shares surged 2.36% today, reaching their highest level since the country was devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami last year.

The Nikkei index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange climbed 237 points to end at 10,255, the highest since it ended at 10,434 on March 10 last year.

Japanese shares rallied from the outset on expectations that the US will maintain its easy monetary policy to boost its plodding economy, brokers said.


Analysts said that market sentiment has temporarily rebounded after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke discussed the need to maintain accommodative policies. Bernanke said the central bank would likely keep stimulus policies in place despite improvements to the jobs market.

The Fed has held interest rates at record lows since the global financial crisis, but there was talk that recent falls in unemployment could lead the bank to start tightening policy as early as the second half of this year.

The strong performance on Wall Street and a better-than-expected German business confidence index for March also lifted the Nikkei.

Major exporters gained with Sony jumping 3%, while Toyota Motor rose 3.59%. Financial institutions also rose with Mizuho Financial rising 2.8% while investment bank Nomura Holdings was up 4%.