Asian stocks rose, with Japanese shares driving the regional index to its longest rally this year, as the yen traded near a two-month low before a review of euro-area monetary policy and U.S. payrolls data. South Korea’s won snapped a six-day gain as copper and oil fell.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.1 percent by 9:45 a.m. in Tokyo, rising a seventh day in the longest run of gains since December. Japan’s Topix index rose 0.4 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) futures fell 0.1 percent after the gauge rose a fourth day, extending its record. The yen was at 103.87 a dollar after five days of weakness, while the won slipped with the Malaysian ringgit. Copper led industrial metals from nickel to zinc lower while crude oil fell a fourth day.
The European Central Bank is projected to keep interest rates at a record low when it meets today, and service industries will be in focus with March data from China to India and the U.S. scheduled. The weekly report on U.S. jobless claims is due as investors weigh private data showing an increase in employment last month before tomorrow’s official payrolls report. China announced measures to support growth yesterday, including increased railway spending and tax relief.