Asia benchmark stock index traded at a seven-month high as investors await a report on U.S. jobs and a decision from the European Central Bank on monetary policy.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained less than 0.1 percent to 143.14 as of 9:02 a.m. in Tokyo, before markets open in China and Hong Kong. South Korea��s market is closed for a holiday. A private survey on the U.S. labor market is due today, while investors are assessing European inflation data to gauge whether the ECB will announce an interest-rate cut tomorrow.
Japan��s Topix index gained 0.2 percent. Australia��s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.1 percent ahead of a report that is expected to show the economy grew 0.9 percent last quarter from the previous three months. New Zealand��s NZX 50 Index lost 0.1 percent.
Euro-area inflation slowed more than economists projected in May. ECB President Mario Draghi has signaled he will act to prevent deflation in the 18-nation bloc. Of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, 44 predict the ECB will become the first major central bank to take interest rates negative by cutting its deposit rate. All but two of 58 respondents said the benchmark rate would also be reduced.
Source : Bloomberg