Asian stocks advanced for a second day, following U.S. equities higher, as Japans Topix index rallied on a weaker yen and investors weighed the impact of a slump in oil prices on the global economic outlook.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.2 percent to 140.25 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, with twice as many stocks rising as falling. The Topix added 0.4 percent as Japans currency held yesterdays 0.7 percent drop. U.S. shares rallied with the greenback yesterday as a report showed construction spending rose more than forecast in October.
South Koreas Kospi index was little changed. Australias S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.7 percent, while New Zealands NZX 50 Index added 0.3 percent. Singapore Exchange Ltd. delayed the start of trading in the city-states securities market by 3 1/2 hours today, citing a software error.
Oil resumed declines yesterday, with West Texas Intermediate futures sinking 3.1 percent, after the Iraqi government and Kurdish authorities reached an agreement that paves the way for increased oil exports. WTI rebounded 1.1 percent today to $67.62 a barrel.
Futures on the Standard & Poors 500 Index were little changed. The measure advanced 0.6 percent yesterday as biotechnology and energy companies rallied and data on construction spending boosted confidence in the economy. The governments labor report later this week may show companies added 230,000 payrolls in November while the unemployment rate held at 5.8 percent, according to the consensus forecast of economists.
Futures on Hong Kongs Hang Seng Index rose 0.1 percent in their most recent trading session, and contracts on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index climbed 0.3 percent.