Most Asian stocks climbed as Australian shares gained and Japanese indexes extended rallies after the yen touched a five-year low versus the dollar. Malaysia’s ringgit slipped while natural gas futures advanced.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.1 percent by 9:53 a.m. in Tokyo, as more than three stocks rose for each that declined. Japan’s Topix Index climbed a fourth day, headed for the highest close since 2008 while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.5 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures rose 0.1 percent. The yen slipped to 105.35 per dollar after weakening every day last week and the ringgit lost 0.2 percent. Palladium rose a fourth day while gas futures gained 0.5 percent.
The Asia Pacific gauge has risen more than 2 percent since Dec. 17, when the Federal Reserve announced the first cut to its record stimulus program amid an improving economy. The U.S. is projected to post the first monthly increase in pending home sales since May today while China’s premier said deepening reforms will keep the economy stable. Iron-ore shipments from Australia, the biggest exporter of the raw material, are being curbed after a cyclone closed ports in the nation’s northwest.
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