Asian stocks fell even amid speculation the European Central Bank will boost stimulus through a sovereign-bond purchase program under the quantitative-easing strategy.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) lost 0.1 percent to 134.46 as of 9:05 a.m. in Tokyo before markets open in China and Hong Kong. An ECB Executive Board proposal calls for as much as $1.3 trillion in asset purchases through the end of 2016, according to two euro-area central-bank officials who have seen the document. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.5 percent and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.6 percent to extend a seven-year high yesterday.
“I’m not convinced that even a 1 trillion euro package will be enough to save the euro area,” said Matthew Sherwood, Sydney-based head of investment markets research at Perpetual Ltd., which has about $21 billion in funds under management. “It may be the case that this process has dragged on so long it’s mostly factored into financial market prices.”
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