Asian Stocks Extend Rally as U.S. Shares Hit Record Before ECB

  • S&P 500, Dow Jones both advance to highest-ever levels
  • ECB expected to extend the duration of its bond buying program

The Asia Outlook for 2017

Asian stocks rose for a third day, after U.S. indexes climbed to records, amid mounting expectations that the European Central Bank will extend its asset-buying program.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.8 percent to the highest level in a month as of 9:08 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan equities advanced for a third day, trading at the highest levels since January. Both the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to all-time highs as telecommunications and property stocks joined the post-U.S. election rally.

Investors are positioning for a continuation of monthly asset purchases from the ECB of 80 billion euros ($86 billion), despite uncertainty in some corners of the market as policy makers conclude two days of meetings on Thursday.

“A wave of bullish sentiment is sweeping the globe,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets Asia Pacific Ltd. in Sydney. “Despite a lack of triggering data, animal spirits were evident in overnight trading.”

Japan’s Topix climbed 1.1 percent. The measure has pared its loss for the year to 2.6 percent. Japan revised third-quarter economic growth to an annualized 1.3 percent, compared with a preliminary reading that showed 2.2 percent expansion. The revision was driven by drops in capital spending and in private inventories, which both dragged down growth.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 1 percent to the highest level since August, while New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index added 0.3 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index climbed 1 percent to the highest in more than a month.

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