Tokyo stocks pass the 20,000 mark

<p>The last time it happened was in 2000.</p>

Tokyo stocks exceeded the 20,000 points mark for the first time in 15 years today (April 10th), on hopes of stronger corporate earnings after the release of better-than-expected consumer inflation data.

Japan's consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.4 per cent on year, above expectations of a 1.3 per cent rise predicted in a Reuters poll and following a 1.4 per cent rise in February. 

The Nikkei 225 index crossed the 20,000 milestone for the first time since April 2000 this morning, but retreated due to profit-taking. It closed 0.2 per cent down at 19,976.94. 

Ben Collett, head of Japan & Asian equities at Sunrise Brokers, told CNBC that the Nikkei's rally could go on: "The long-term outlook for the market, given the Bank of Japan's policy and what they will do for the yen, looks pretty good."

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.5 per cent to 4,017.67 and South Korea's Kospi gained 1.2 per cent to 2,083.45. Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged up 0.2 per cent to 26,988.18 and Australia's S&P ASX 200 rose 0.5 percent to 5,963.70.

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