- Asian Equities, Yen Maintain Declines After BOJ
Asian stocks were mostly lower after a five-day rally as the Bank of Japan cut its inflation forecast while keeping stimulus unchanged, and investors assessed a plan to overhaul U.S. taxes.
Japanese stocks headed for their first decline in six days and the yen remained lower. Shanghai stocks resumed declines as regulatory concerns grew. The dollar dropped as the Mexican peso and Canadian dollar jumped, reversing earlier declines, after the White House dispelled speculation over the fate of Nafta. Market reaction in the U.S. to Donald Trump’s tax proposal suggested much of the benefits were already reflected in asset prices.
The BOJ kept its policy settings unchanged, while lowering its inflation forecast, underscoring that any exit from its unprecedented monetary easing remains far away. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said last week that the accommodative policy and asset purchases will continue for some time because inflation is “quite sluggish.”
Global shares are trading at a record high on optimism for improving global economic growth. The much-anticipated plan for U.S. tax changes, including cuts that would benefit businesses, the middle class and certain high-earning individuals, left unanswered questions about whether it would be paid for, or how.
Investors are also turning to earnings for more clues on the global economy, with Thursday offering results from some of the biggest companies. The heavyweights include PetroChina Co. and Deutsche Bank AG, with Alphabet Inc. and Dow Chemical Co. on the menu for the U.S.
Concerns over China’s markets are resurfacing after a brief pause, as the government intensified its focus on tackling risks in the financial system. Stocks in China have lagged all but three national benchmarks in the world this month, struggling to keep up with increasing global risk appetite amid an accelerating campaign against leverage.
Here are some key upcoming events investors are watching:
- The European Central Bank is up next. ECB officials have indicated little chance of a policy change on Thursday. The focus will be on any signals from President Mario Draghi that the central bank is debating an exit from its extraordinary stimulus.
- U.S. GDP is due Friday. It’s projected to show the economy expanded at a 1 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, the weakest pace in a year.