Asian stocks climbed, with the regional index snapping a four-day decline after U.S. and European shares advanced. The dollar held gains against most major peers including the yen, while natural gas and oil rose.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2 percent by 9:16 a.m. in Tokyo, after falling to a 2 1/2-week low yesterday. Japan’s Topix Index climbed for the first trading day this year. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures lost 0.1 percent after the U.S. gauge halted a four-day drop and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed at the highest level since May 2008. The yen extended losses after yesterday’s 0.4 percent decline. Gas futures added 0.7 percent while oil in New York rose a second day.
The greenback strengthened after the U.S. trade deficit shrank to a four-year low, with investors awaiting minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last meeting — which saw the first reduction in the bond buying program — due today, along with private U.S. employment data. The International Monetary Fund plans to raise its forecast for global growth, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in Kenya. Australia reports on job vacancies today while Malaysia posts trade figures.
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