Asian stocks rose for a sixth day and emerging-market currencies strengthened as central banks from Japan to Europe review monetary policy. Aluminum gained.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of shares added 0.2 percent to 133.39 as of 11:55 a.m. in Tokyo, heading for its longest rally since December. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 1 percent, heading for its highest close in three weeks. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) futures were little changed. India’s stock-index contracts jumped 2.1 percent after the nation’s new central bank governor outlined plans to ease restrictions on lenders. The South Korean won appreciated for a fourth day. Aluminum increased 0.7 percent.
The Bank of Japan left unchanged its unprecedented easing plan at the end of a two-day gathering today, ahead of policy meetings by central banks in the U.K. and euro zone. U.S. nonfarm payroll data tomorrow may provide clues to the Federal Reserve’s outlook for stimulus after its Beige Book survey showed consumers spent more on travel and tourism while manufacturing expanded. South Korea confirmed its economy grew the most since 2011 last quarter. A U.S. Senate panel authorized a limited military strike in Syria.
“U.S. payrolls is the key event, we’re looking at something around 190,000 and if we get that sort of number it reinforces the idea of Fed tapering occurring at the upcoming meeting,” Chris Green, a strategist at First NZ Capital Ltd., a brokerage and wealth-management firm, said from Auckland. “We’ve had a more positive tone across a range of data.”
Samsung Electronics Co. jumped 1.9 percent in Seoul after unveiling a wristwatch device that can make phone calls, surf the Web and take photos. SK Hynix Inc. (000660), the world’s second-largest maker of computer-memory chips, lost 3 percent after suspending operations at a fire-damaged factory in China.
About five stocks rose for every three that fell on MSCI’s Asian gauge, with technology and utility companies leading gains. South Korea’s Kospi index climbed 0.9 percent. Japan’s Topix index added 0.1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4 percent.
India’s SGX CNX Nifty Index futures climbed. Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan announced plans after the market closed yesterday to make it easier for banks to open new branches and lend to non-state sectors of the economy. JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts said the steps will have a “major long-term impact” on bank profits.
The won and the Philippine peso gained 0.2 percent versus the dollar, while the yen was unchanged at 99.74.
The U.S. economy maintained a “modest to moderate” pace of growth from July to August, the Fed said yesterday in its Beige Book survey. The central bank, which has said cuts to its bond-buying program depend on continued improvement in the economy and job market, will decided to reduce purchases at its September meeting, according to 65 percent of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News Aug. 9-13.
Data today will show claims for jobless benefits fell to 330,000 last week, from 331,000 in the previous week, according to a Bloomberg survey. Nonfarm payrolls data on Sept. 6 will probably show an increase of 180,000 in August, compared with an increase of 162,000 for July, another survey showed.
The European Central Bank as well as policy makers in the U.K. and Malaysia are expected to keep benchmark rates at current levels in their reviews today.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 0.2 percent to $107.43 a barrel, after falling 1.2 percent yesterday.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to authorize President Barack Obama to conduct a limited U.S. military operation in Syria, the first step toward congressional endorsement of the effort.
The resolution, approved 10-7, supports use of force in a “limited and specified manner against legitimate military targets” during a 60-day period following enactment, with a possible 30-day extension at Obama’s request. The resolution doesn’t authorize use of U.S. ground troops in combat.