Asian Stocks Rise Ahead of Bank of Japan Policy Meeting

Friday’s gains in Asia came as Wall Street posted one of its best days of the year on the back of upbeat corporate earnings, even as concerns about economic weakness continued and investors awaited a policy decision from the Bank of Japan.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan increased by 0.57% as of 9.33AM BKK time. In March, the unemployment rate in Japan exceeded expectations at 2.8%. Asia-based investors will be keeping a close eye on the outcome of today’s Bank of Japan monetary policy meeting, the first to be held under new BOJ governor Kazuo Ueda.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.35%, while the South Korean Kospi was 0.46% higher.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.71%. The Shanghai Composite in mainland China was up 0.70%.

U.S. stock markets had their best day since January, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1.57 points, the S&P 500 gaining 1.96%, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 2.43% overnight.

According to the Commerce Department, GDP in the United States grew by 1.1% in the first quarter, which was far lower than economists had predicted. The Dow Jones said that economists expected growth of 2%. The report showed higher inflation than expected, with prices rising by 4% rather than the 3.7% predicted.