Most Asian Stocks Advance as Investors Await Bank of Japan’s Rate Decision

Most Asian stock markets rose on Friday, as investors cheered signs that the Federal Reserve may be winding down its rate-hike campaign after strong U.S. economic data, but now, all eyes are on the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell for a second consecutive day, down 0.60% as of 9.40 AM Bangkok time.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose by 0.53% on the rally of utilities and energy sectors, while the Kospi in South Korea climbed by 0.16%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 0.58%, the Shanghai Composite in mainland China was up 0.28%.

Overnight in the United States, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite reached their highest closing levels since April 2022, with the S&P gaining 1.22% and the Nasdaq adding 1.15%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw the largest gain, climbing 1.26%.

Today’s main focus among investors will be the rate decision made at the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting. In a note published on Wednesday, Bank of America analysts said they do not anticipate the BOJ’s yield curve control policy or rates to change.

Inflation is rising, yet many people still believe the central bank will maintain its easy monetary policy.

“Economic conditions are telling the BoJ that its ultra-easy policy has passed its use-by date, yet given what Ueda has been saying, the consensus view is that the BoJ will stand pat,” said Rodrigo Catril, senior FX strategist at National Australia Bank.

“That said, if the BoJ wanted to surprise the market, today would be a good day,” he added.