Asian stocks outside Japan rose as Chinese shares surged on speculation the government will take steps to bolster equities. China will relax limits on foreign investment in listed companies and expand quotas for capital flow, the State Council said last week. President Xi Jinping said China needs to adapt to a “new normal” in the pace of economic expansion.

Markets in Europe are also called to open higher after the euro-area’s fastest economic growth in three years probably won’t be enough to stop Mario Draghi from easing monetary policy. Even with data this week predicted to show expansion accelerated in the first quarter, the European Central Bank president looks set to push ahead with measures that could range from rate cuts to liquidity injections.

Pro-Russian groups hailed a large majority in favor of secession in a referendum they organized in eastern Ukraine that was dismissed as illegitimate by the government in Kiev and its U.S. and European allies. In Donetsk, 90% of voters backed the breakaway plan. In Luhansk, the other region voting, turnout was 75% and the outcome wasn’t initially clear, RIA said. Final results are due later today.

In company news, Nissan Motor Co, Japan’s second-biggest carmaker, forecast profit that missed analysts’ estimates, as intensifying competition drives up incentive spending in the U.S. Net income will climb 4%to 405 billion yen in the year ending March 31, the highest since the 2008 fiscal year.

Samsung Electronics Co. Chairman Lee Kun Hee, who helped generate almost a quarter of South Korea’s GDP by propelling a copycat manufacturer into Asia’s biggest technology company, is in stable condition after surgery following a heart attack.

Carnival Corp. will dispatch a fourth ship to China next April, escalating the battle for passengers in the fastest-growing cruise market. The Miami-based cruise company, the world’s largest, is transferring the 3,780-passenger Costa Serena to Shanghai from Europe to join three other company ships that travel to ports in Japan and South Korea.

Good day and happy trading!

Kristian Camenzuli

When news spread last week that Apple Inc. was near an acquisition of Beats Electronics LLC for $3.2 billion, Beats co-founder Dr. Dre appeared in a video boasting of becoming the “first billionaire in hip hop.” Apple executives, by contrast, were characteristically silent. The differing reactions underline the seemingly odd cultural fit between the world’s most valuable company and a celebrity-fronted Santa Monica, California-based provider of headphones and online music. Beats executives are known to throw lavish parties and have musicians traipsing through at all hours, while Apple is an engineering haven for coders and designers.