Asian Equities Rally

Asian stocks rose to the highest since July and crude oil traded near a six-week high. Australian bonds rallied and the cost of insuring debt from the country dropped before a rates decision.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.5 percent by 12:18 p.m. in Tokyo, rising a fourth day as resources firms led gains. The Shanghai Composite Index added 1.7 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures were little changed after the gauge advanced 0.7 percent Monday. U.S. oil was at $51.73 a barrel after soaring the most in two months. Australia’s three-year bond yield fell to a record and a gauge of credit-default swaps fell 1 1/4 basis points.

Central banks take center stage as investors across the Asia-Pacific and Europe return from holidays, with policy decisions in Australia and India on Tuesday. The Bank of Japan meets on Wednesday before the release of the Federal Reserve’s March minutes. While a majority of economists predict Australia will keep rates on hold, swaps traders are pricing in a 77 percent chance of a cut.


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