Asian stock markets climb as Japan central bank calls unscheduled meeting

TOKYO (AP) — Asian stock markets advanced in early trading Monday, with Japan's benchmark jumping more than 3 percent after the central bank called an emergency policy board meeting.

The Nikkei 225 stock average surged 3.2 percent to 9,275.44 on hopes that the Bank of Japan would ease monetary policy in response to a recent sharp rise of the yen. At the extraordinary meeting, the central bank will "discuss monetary control matters based on recent economic and financial developments," it said in a statement.

Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi rose 1.5 percent to 1,754.73, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.9 percent to 4,454.8.

U.S. stocks posted big gains Friday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank was ready to step in if the U.S. economy showed further signs of weakening.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.7 percent, to close at 10,150.65. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 1.7 percent to 1,064.59, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 1.6 percent, to 2,153.63.