Asian stocks rose for a fifth day as material and health-care companies advanced and investors await a Bank of Japan policy decision and the release of Federal Reserve meeting minutes.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.1 percent to 149.21 as of 9:03 a.m. in Tokyo. The BOJ ends a two-day meeting today, with all 34 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicting the Japanese central bank will maintain record stimulus. Investors are waiting for Fed minutes for clues on when policy makers will increase U.S. interest rates after payrolls data added to signs of a weak first-quarter growth in the world’s biggest economy.

The BOJ will probably expand stimulus by the end of October, according to 22 of 34 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The BOJ is among a wave of central banks easing policy to stave off deflation and ignite growth. By contrast, the Fed has ended its bond-buying program and is pondering its first rate increase since 2006.

The world economy’s growth potential won’t soon return to levels seen before 2008 financial crisis as business investment slumps, raising the urgency for officials to find ways to stimulate demand, the International Monetary Fund said in its World Economic Outlook released Tuesday.

Source : Bloomberg