Asian Stocks Post Monthly Advance as Japanese Shares Rally

Asian stocks rose, posting their biggest monthly gain since 2009, as Japanese shares rallied following a report the government is considering additional fiscal stimulus and the Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged.

Shionogi & Co. surged 11 percent in Tokyo after the Nikkei newspaper reported the drugmaker will release a one-day treatment for influenza in 2018. Nomura Real Estate Holdings Inc. advanced 9.8 percent after raising its full-year profit forecast. Macquarie Group Ltd. climbed 2 percent in Sydney after Australia’s largest investment bank reported first-half net income jumped 58 percent to a record. Asciano Ltd. rose 8.5 percent as a group led by Qube Holdings Ltd. offered to buy additional shares in the logistics company to block a rival bid from Brookfield Infrastructure Partners.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.4 percent to 134.49, taking its monthly jump to 8.6 percent, led by a rebound in energy shares. Japan’s Topix index rose 0.7 percent today, capping its biggest monthly gain since April 2013. While the BOJ refrained from easing monetary policy, the Nikkei reported that the government may introduce additional budget measures if third-quarter gross domestic product, which will be announced on Nov. 16, shows the economy needs aid.

With the BOJ meeting out of the way, “it’s not surprising that stocks are back up as investors shift their eyes to earnings and government moves,” said Takuya Takahashi, a Tokyo-based senior strategist at Daiwa Securities Group Inc. “The extra budget will of course be seen as favorable.”

Inflation Target

Economists were split over whether the BOJ would expand its already record 80 trillion-yen asset-purchase program, with 16 of 36 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News expecting additional easing. After the market closed, the BOJ said it postponed its forecast for reaching its 2 percent inflation target as the timing of hitting that goal depends on oil prices.

Even with a slide today, the Shanghai Composite Index capped its biggest monthly advance since April as the Chinese government took measures to end a $5 trillion rout and policy makers introduced stimulus to boost economic growth. China’s decision to end birth restrictions may boost retail sales by as much as 240 billion yuan ($38 billion) a year starting in 2017, according to Credit Suisse Group AG.

South Korea’s Kospi index slid 0.2 percent today. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.5 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index lost 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.8 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.1 percent.

The underlying gauge slipped less than 0.1 percent on Thursday as mounting speculation U.S. interest rates will be raised this year capped an October advance that’s on target to be the biggest in four years.

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