Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index poised for a three-week high, as the yen weakened before the Bank of Japan issues a policy statement, boosting the outlook for the nation’s exporters.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.5 percent to 136.93 as of 9:39 a.m. in Tokyo, heading for its highest close since Jan. 24. The equity benchmark climbed 1.6 percent last week as trade data from China beat estimates and Janet Yellen’s first testimony to Congress as head of the Federal Reserve buoyed optimism about the U.S. economy.
“The positive equity momentum of the past week remains robust,” Evan Lucas, a markets strategist in Melbourne for IG Ltd., wrote in an e-mail to clients. “As the most dovish central bank in the world, this morning’s BOJ press conference will be interesting as there have been signs of life in inflation, its no. 1 mandate for the stimulus program.”
Japan’s Topix (TPX) index rose 1.2 percent as the yen weakened against 16 major peers. South Korea’s Kospi index and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slipped 0.1 percent. Markets in China and Hong Kong are yet to open.
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