Asian Equities Higher Ahead of ECB Meeting

Asian stock markets started Thursday on a positive note, following an inspiring lead from Wall Street overnight amid bets that the European Central Bank (ECB) will launch an aggressive stimulus package at today’s policy meeting.

“It is clear investors are positioning for some aggressive action by Europe. The headline will be the size of the program on a nominal basis, with broad expectations of a 550 billion euros plan,” Stan Shamu, IG’s market strategist, wrote in a report. “With expectations running high, the risk will be for the ECB to disappoint.”

Overnight, U.S. stocks advanced in a choppy session, as investors digested reports that the ECB’s executive board had proposed monthly bond purchases of roughly 50 billion euros in a quantitative easing program that would last at least a year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 0.2 percent while the S&P 500 added 0.5 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.3 percent.


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