Nikkei 225 Hits 15-Year High
A pedestrian is reflected on an electronic board showing a graph of the recent fluctuations of the Nikkei, outside a brokerage in Tokyo, in MarchReuters

Japan's Nikkei 225 share average hit a 15-year high on 8 April on news that the Japanese central bank had kept its massive monetary stimulus intact.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.76% to 19,789.81 points in Tokyo, the highest finish since April 2000.

Meanwhile, the Topix index gained 0.63% to finish at 1,588.47, with 29 of its 33 industry groups rising.

Retailer Takashimaya jumped 4.03% despite the fact that its earnings were mostly in line with expectations. The stock has gained approximately 31% so far this year.

Rival Isetan Mitsukoshi gained 3.07%, extending the year's gains to 45%.

Earlier, The Bank of Japan (BoJ) left the pace of its monetary expansion unchanged as expected.

With an 8-1 vote at the end of a two-day meeting on 8 April, the BoJ maintained a plan to expand the monetary base at an annual pace of ¥80tn (£448bn, €614bn, $667bn), a quantitative easing (QE) programme that has been in place since April 2013.

The Nikkei has gained 3% so far this month, buoyed by the launch of two new equity investment trusts this week, which attracted some ¥160bn ($1.3bn) from investors in total.

The Nikkei 225 has gained some 13.38% this year.

Market participants have said that some investors could be shifting funds to Japan and other Asian markets, from US stocks that have been curbed by concerns on likely policy tightening by the US central bank, Reuters reported.