Asian stocks climbed, with the regional index set for a 2 1/2-month high, as copper led gains in industrial metals before Chinese trade data. Korea’s won jumped after the Federal Reserve eased concern over U.S. interest rates while Indonesian rupiah forwards weakened.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.7 percent by 9:54 a.m. in Tokyo, headed for its highest close since Jan. 22 as Japan’s Topix (TPX) index rebounded from a three-week low. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added 0.1 percent after the U.S. gauge rose a second day in New York. Copper, nickel and tin rose at least 0.2 percent. The won extended gains from a more-than five-year high even as the government said it was watching the market. Rupiah forwards slipped after parliamentary elections.
Chinese exports probably rallied from the steepest drop since 2009 in February, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists before figures due today. Fed minutes played down forecasts for rates to increase faster than previously projected, after comments from Chair Janet Yellen following last month’s meeting fueled bets borrowing costs would be raised as soon as mid-2015. South Korea kept its own key rates unchanged today, with the U.K. projected to do the same.