The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 241.72 points to close at 19,620.91, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares added 0.67 percent, or 10.57 points, to 1,598.33.
China’s central bank on Sunday cut rates by 25 basis points — after two similar moves since November — as it looks to support the world’s number two economy, which grew last year at its slowest pace in nearly a quarter of a century.
The move is the latest stimulus by the People’s Bank of China, which has also twice this year reduced the amount of cash lenders must keep in reserve.
It also came after another disappointing set of economic indicators, with inflation coming in below forecasts for April and exports unexpectedly falling.
“The consensus was that there’ll be at least one or two more stages of monetary easing in China, so there’s no big surprise,” Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities in Tokyo, told Bloomberg News.
“The timing was earlier than expected, so they’ve probably moved assuming a positive reaction to that.”
Tokyo’s gains were supported by a Wall Street surge Friday after the US Labor Department reported the economy added 223,000 jobs in April and unemployment fell to a seven-year low of 5.4 percent.
The Dow rose 1.49 percent, the S&P 500 jumped 1.35 percent, and the Nasdaq was up 1.17 percent.
Bucking the Tokyo rally, however, was Sharp which lost a quarter of its market value in frenzied trade on reports that it is planning a drastic capital reduction to help wipe away years of losses.
The stock fell as much as 31 percent before recovering some ground to finish at 190 yen ($1.58), down 26.35 percent.
Toshiba also plunged after the company late Friday withdrew its earnings forecast and said it will not pay a dividend, citing accounting problems on a number of infrastructure projects. The shares tumbled 16.55 percent to 403.3 yen.
In other trading, market heavyweight Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, jumped 2.82 percent to 48,450.0 yen, while SoftBank gained 0.62 percent to 7,400.0 yen.
After markets closed, the mobile carrier said its fiscal year net profit jumped nearly 29 percent, partly due to the world’s biggest share offering by Alibaba in New York last year — SoftBank owns about one-third of the Chinese e-commerce giant.
Toyota fell 0.53 percent to 8,235.0 yen, despite saying Friday its annual profit accelerated to a record $18.1 billion, while news reports said it and Mazda are considering a comprehensive tie-up in environmentally friendly technology.
The dollar was changing hands at 119.92 yen Monday afternoon, up from 119.77 yen in New York.