Asian stocks climbed, with the regional index extending gains at a six-month high after speculation the U.S. will hold interest rates near zero past mid-year fueled the biggest weekly surge in global equities since 2013. Crude oil declined, while gold advanced.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose a fifth straight day, adding 0.6 percent by 9:19 a.m. in Tokyo as Japan’s Topix index rose 0.7 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures climbed 0.1 percent following the gauge’s best week since the start of February. U.S. oil lost 1.2 percent, after jumping 4 percent on Friday, as Saudi Arabia said its was pumping near record amounts of crude. Gold extended its steepest weekly gain in two months. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell, bringing its two-day decline to 1.4 percent. Emerging-market currencies jumped.

Global equity values expanded by about $2.4 trillion last week as the Federal Reserve signaled a slower pace of monetary tightening than previously estimated amid a moderating economy. That knocked the greenback, with Bloomberg’s dollar gauge falling the most since 2011. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. reported its lowest annual profit Sunday since the start of the global financial crisis amid oil’s 46 percent slump. Taiwan updates its jobless rate today and Singapore posts inflation.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed in the first 50 minutes of trade, while the NZX 50 Index dropped 0.2 percent in Wellington. The Kospi index in Seoul. Both the Nasdaq Composite Index and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index came within 0.5 percent of record highs last week.

Source : Bloomberg