Asian stocks rose, with the regional index headed for its longest streak of daily gains since December, as Japanese shares rallied on a weaker yen. Oil rose to its highest level this year and South Korea’s won climbed to one-week high against the greenback.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 0.4 percent, rising for a fourth day, at 9:50 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix index climbed 1 percent, while Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) futures were little changed after the U.S. gauge rallied 1.3 percent on Feb. 7. The yen weakened 0.2 percent versus the dollar, while the won gained 0.2 percent. Oil added 0.4 percent after breaking above $100 a barrel for the first time this year in New York last week.
Japan reported a record current account deficit for December today. China’s central bank said on Feb. 8 that investors will have to tolerate further volatility in money market rates as it reins in credit growth. Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen takes center stage on Capitol Hill tomorrow, delivering her first semi-annual monetary testimony as markets weigh how mixed economic reports last week will affect the central bank’s plan for reducing stimulus.