Asia stocks up as investors await monetary policy clues

by Jonathan Adams
Asia stocks

MSCI’s gauge of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan added 0.11 per cent, Hang Seng Index was up 0.4 per cent, S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.32 per cent, while Nikkei 225 inched up 0.35 per cent

Asia stocks opened higher on Tuesday, continuing with a record high overnight gauge of global equity markets, with investors hoping for inflation and monetary policy clues later in a week full of key central bank meetings and data points.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.32 per cent at 0130 GMT, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 inched up 0.35 per cent, as the country revised first-quarter data showing the economy shrank at a slower pace than initially reported.

MSCI’s gauge of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan added 0.11 per cent, following the All-Country World Index, which gained 0.1 per cent on Monday, hitting its sixth record close in seven days.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index opened up 0.4 per cent while China’s benchmark CSI300 Index opened flat.

The upward momentum comes as the G7 nations reached a landmark deal on Saturday to back a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15 per cent, lifting shares of technology giants such as Microsoft and Facebook as their future tax obligations become more predictable.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is due for its monetary policy meeting on Thursday, the same day U.S. consumer price index number will be released, potentially fuelling talks of tapering by the Federal Reserve. In Asia, China inflation data is due on Wednesday.

The start of a new week has not seen much by way of price action across all asset classes, said Ray Attrill, head of FX Strategy at National Australia Bank.

It’s hard to avoid the sense the global markets are for the most part now simply lurching from one big event risk to the next with not a lot to see in-between, he said.

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