Asian stocks rose for the first time in six days as investors awaited an update on monetary policy from the Federal Reserve. Chinese shares climbed amid low trading volume.
BHP Billiton Ltd. added 2.1 percent as commodity producers rebounded. The Shanghai Composite advanced 3.4 percent, rising for the first time in four days. Fanuc Corp. dragged Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average lower as the robot maker plunged 11 percent after cutting its full-year profit forecast amid slowing demand from China.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.4 percent to 140.82 as of 4:01 p.m. in Hong Kong. Traders will be combing the Fed’s post-meeting statement on Wednesday as policy makers assess the strength of economic growth amid plunging commodity prices.
“Often when a lot of stocks get washed out, we get a rebound,” Nader Naeimi, Sydney-based head of dynamic asset allocation at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which oversees A$160.5 billion ($117 billion), said by phone. “The Fed will be focused on global conditions. What’s happening globally can’t be totally ignored.”
While economists see no chance the central bank will raise rates this week, they put the odds of a September boost at about 50 percent, a Bloomberg survey published July 22 showed.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen has signaled that the central bank is likely to lift rates this year, and emphasized that the pace of subsequent increases would be gradual. Data showed consumer confidence slumped in July by the most since August 2011 as Americans became less upbeat about prospects for the economy, employment and their finances.
The final hour of trading in mainland China saw the Shanghai Composite climb as speculation of state support overshadowed signs of waning interest by retail investors and margin traders. Turnover was the lowest since May 8.
Trading on the Shanghai bourse has dropped from its peak in June as the government took unprecedented measures to stop the rout, including letting hundreds of companies suspend trading, banning major shareholders from selling and ordering an investigation into Monday’s selloff. While state funds have been tasked with buying shares, margin traders are cashing out and new equity-account openings are tumbling.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index added 0.9 percent and the Hang Seng Index rose 0.5 percent.
Japan’s Topix index gained 0.3 percent, while the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.1 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex Index rose 0.5 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.7 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index slipped 0.1 percent and Taiwan’s Taiex Index declined 0.2 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.4 percent.
E-mini futures on the S&P 500 gained 0.1 percent.