Asian stocks rose, with the Topix index climbing to a six-year high, after the yen weakened as investors weighed additional stimulus by Japan’s central bank.
Nomura Holdings Inc. surged 7.7 percent as brokerages led gains on the Topix. Toyota Motor Corp., a carmaker that gets 75 percent of sales abroad, advanced 4.7 percent, the largest contributor to the regional gauge’s advance. Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s biggest smartphone maker, lost 1.5 percent, the heaviest drag.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1.3 percent to 142.12 as of 5:54 p.m. in Hong Kong. The Bank of Japan’s unexpected stimulus boost announced at the end of last week pushed the yen to an almost seven-year low yesterday, when Asia’s biggest stock market was shut. The country’s $1.1 trillion pension fund announced Oct. 31 it was raising its target allocations for domestic and foreign shares.
“We’re still optimistic on Japan,” Tai Hui, chief Asia market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, which oversees about $1.7 trillion, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “The BOJ has shown its cards. The BOJ will do whatever it takes to support the economy, to achieve their inflation target.”
While the Federal Reserve ended its bond-buying program and speculation mounted that U.S. interest rates will rise next year, Japan and the euro area are still ramping up stimulus to ignite lackluster growth as reports showed factory gauge.
Japan’s Topix index added 2.6 percent, while the Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 2.7 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 0.3 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 0.1 percent to an all-time high. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.2 percent as the central bank kept interest rates at a record low. Markets in India are closed for a holiday.
South Korea’s Kospi index slipped 0.9 percent as Samsung declined 1.5 percent. The yen’s weakness makes some Japanese exporters more competitive and has fueled speculation the Bank of Korea may have to cut interest rates again. Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.3 percent.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent. The measure fell less than 0.1 percent yesterday, following a monthly advance that sent the benchmark to a record, as energy companies dropped with the price of oil after Saudi Arabia cut the cost of crude sent to U.S. customers.
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