Asia Stocks Give Up Gains as Investors Pare Positions Before ECB

  • BOJ maintains rate, delays projected timing on inflation rate
  • ECB president will brief media at at 2:30 p.m. in Frankfurt

BOJ Delays Timing for Reaching 2% Inflation Target

Asian equities pared gains after earlier rising to the highest level since 2007 as investors wait to see whether European policy makers will echo the Bank of Japan’s decision earlier Thursday to keep its monetary stimulus program unchanged.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for a ninth day in a row, trading at 158.98 compared with the previous close of 158.96 as of 5:21 p.m. in Hong Kong. The measure was headed for its longest winning streak since April 2015 amid a string of record highs in U.S. stocks. Gains in financial, technology and energy companies were almost matched by losses for consumer and telecom stocks.

Japan’s Topix index rose 0.7% after as the BOJ maintained its monetary stimulus policy and pushed back the projected timing for reaching 2 percent inflation for the sixth time.

The European Central Bank, like the Bank of Japan, is expected to keep the current “accommodative” policy environment unchanged and it might continue to guide market expectations with a “future tapering” plan, Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG Asia Pte, said by phone.

The ECB will announce its interest rates and asset-purchase target at 1:45 p.m. Frankfurt time. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect no change in those instruments, and are split on whether the central bank will drop its pledge to increase the size and/or duration of quantitative easing if needed.

A report that the ECB has been examining options for asset purchases adds to speculation that Mario Draghi will concede that the time is approaching to adjust the bond-buying program as the economic recovery expands.

Read our live blog on the ECB’s decision and Draghi’s briefing

Summary

  • Topix index +0.7%, Nikkei 225 Index +0.6%
    • Tokyo Shares Rise as BOJ Stands Pat, Investors Look to Earnings
  • Hang Seng Index +0.3%, Hang Seng China Enterprises Index -0.1%, Shanghai Composite Index +0.4%, Taiex -0.1%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index +0.5%, New Zealand’s NZX 50 -0.8%
    • Aussie Approaches 80 Cents After June Full-Time Employment Rises
    • New Capital Rules a Big Win for Australian Banks: Street Wrap
  • Kospi Index +0.5%, Kospi 200 Index +0.1%
    • South Korea Accounts for All of Asia ex-Japan EPS Upgrade: CS
  • Straits Times Index -1.1%, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index -0.1%, Philippine Stock Exchange PSEi Index -0.9%, Jakarta Composite Index +0.4%
    • Sembcorp Stocks Rise on Hopes of Review-Led Consolidation: KGI
    • Indonesia Equity Rally to Continue as Earnings Grow, Panin Says
      Indonesia Stock Trade Faces Glitch on Key Rate Decision Day
  • Sensex Index -0.2%, Nifty 50 Index -0.3%
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