Asian stocks followed U.S. equities higher, with the regional benchmark index extending its weekly advance, as materials and energy shares gained amid higher oil prices.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.4 percent to 142.14 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, heading for a 1.3 percent increase this week after the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates to a record low and China reduced banks’ reserve ratios. The European Central Bank will allow its Greek counterpart to provide as much as 59.5 billion euros ($68 billion) in emergency funding for lenders, a euro-area central-bank official familiar with the decision said. West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed as much as 2 percent today after rising 4.2 percent yesterday.
“Greece is still an issue but investors are choosing to focus on the positives,” Tony Farnham, a strategist at Paterson Securities in Sydney, said by phone. “There would probably be a compromise, whether extending the repayment period on Greek debt or cutting interest rates. There’s further upside in equities given the wave of global monetary easing by central banks.”
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