Asian Equities Higher on ECB QE Rumors

Asian stocks rose, with Japanese and South Korea shares erasing yesterday’s losses as speculation Europe will expand its economic stimulus fueled a global equity rebound. Australian bonds declined before an inflation report, while wheat extended its advance.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.8 percent by 9:25 a.m. in Tokyo, as Japan’s Topix index added 1.9 percent and the Kospi index increased 0.8 percent in Seoul. Both gauges retreated at least 0.7 percent yesterday. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures lost 0.1 percent after the U.S. gauge jumped the most in a year. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) drove Australian stock gains after reporting an increase in iron-ore output. Yields on the nation’s 10-year bonds climbed seven basis points. Wheat futures advanced for a second day, adding 0.5 percent.

Both Australia and the U.S. report on prices today, as investors examine economic data for signs of weakness after concerns over a global slowdown sparked a rout in risky assets last week. The European Central Bank bought Italian debt yesterday, people familiar with the move said, amid speculation officials may expand into corporate-debt purchases. Apple Inc. (AAPL) drove the biggest gain in the Nasdaq 100 Index since January 2013 after forecasting record sales for the holiday season.

Bloomberg

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