Asian Stocks Lift Ahead of Central Bank Meetings

Asian Stocks Lift Ahead of Central Bank Meetings

“Attention will be on whether the policymakers start to taper asset purchases, especially in light of recent stronger-than-expected inflation data,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades in a report.

Asian stock markets have risen after China reported stronger than expected exports in August. Investors awaited decisions by European and other central banks on when stimulus might be wound down. Shares advanced in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong. U.S. markets were due to reopen following a three-day weekend. China reported export growth rose to 25.6% over a year earlier, up from July’s 19.3% gain. Investors looked ahead to this week’s meeting of the European Central Bank, which is expected to debate when to withdraw bond purchases and other stimulus for economies that use the common euro currency.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6 per cent to 3,644.36 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.8 per cent to 29,894.92. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 0.9 per cent to 26,398.46.

The Kospi in Seoul shed 0.5 per cent to 3,187.26 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 declined 0.1 per cent to 7,519.60.

Investors also are watching for results of central bank meetings this week in Australia and Canada.

Also Tuesday, Japan’s government reported wages rose 1 per cent over a year earlier in July, accelerating from the previous month’s 0.1 per cent.

Investors have been encouraged by the spread of Covid vaccinations and stronger US corporate profits, though hopes are tempered by rising infections due to the virus’ more contagious delta variant.

Traders also appear to hope weak job markets in the United States and some other countries might prompt central bankers to postpone withdrawal of stimulus that has pushed up stock prices.

In energy markets, benchmark US crude lost 15 cents to $69.14 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 33 cents to $72.55 per barrel in London. The dollar declined to 109.79 yen from Monday’s 109.84. The euro was little-changed at $1.1879.

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