Asia Pacific stocks rise as Bank of Japan meets

Stocks in Asia Pacific rose in morning trade on Monday, with the Bank of Japan due to kick off its monetary policy meeting.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.91% as shares of index heavyweights Fast Retailing and Softbank Group gained more than 1% each. The Topix index also advanced 0.47%.

The Japanese central bank begins its monetary policy meeting on Monday, as investors watch for policy moves from the central bank to grapple with the economic impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Over in South Korea, the Kospi added 0.31%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 also edged fractionally higher.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.09% higher.

Oil prices will also be watched following recent volatility as concerns rise over weak demand as a result of the economic hit from the global coronavirus outbreak.

In the morning of Asian hours on Monday, international benchmark Brent crude futures rose 1.82% to $21.83 per barrel. U.S. crude futures on the other hand, fell 2.3% to $16.55 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 100.261 after seeing levels below 100 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.50 per dollar after seeing volatility last week as it swung between levels above 107.8 and below 107.4. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6394 after seeing levels below $0.63 last week.

What’s on tap for Monday:

  • Japan: Bank of Japan monetary policy meeting
  • China: Industrial profits for March at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

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