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Asian Stocks Rise Ahead of Central Bank Meetings




Asian stocks rose on Monday after a month gains.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index extended gains from this year’s low to 13 percent, after adding 0.6 percent to trade at 127.47 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo.

The focus now turns to the Bank of Japan and Federal Reserve policy decisions this week as investors reassess the European Central Bank’s QE decision.

Central banks are going to be dominating market sentiment,” Matthew Sherwood, head of investment strategy at Perpetual Ltd. in Sydney, which manages about $21 billion, told Bloomberg Radio. “That could be enough for the risk rally to continue, but I think it is starting to run out of steam. The Fed is going to be front and center” this week.

China’s industrial production and retail sales released during the weekend shows slow growth in the first two months of the year, highlighting the struggle of Chinese leaders to meet this year’s growth target.

The Asian equity measure has pared its loss for 2016 to 3.5 percent, spurred by a rebound in oil, other commodities and banking shares. Stocks in Shanghai are still one of the worst performers among 93 primary indexes tracked by Bloomberg with a 21 percent drop this year.

Japan’s Topix index climbed 1.1 percent after the yen slid 0.6 percent against the U.S. dollar on Friday.

South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.6 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.8 percent, paring this year’s loss to 1.7 percent. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 0.8 percent.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.