Asian stocks rose, following a rally in U.S. shares, after minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting showed policy makers’ faith in the world’s biggest economy, with officials saying the pace of any rate increases will be gradual.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.7 percent to 132.47 as of 9:02 a.m. in Tokyo. Through Wednesday, the gauge rallied 8.6 percent from a two-year low in September as investors prepare for the first U.S. interest-rate increase since 2006. In the statement following their October gathering, Fed policy makers made it clear that a rise would be considered at the Dec. 15-16 meeting.
Japan’s Topix index advanced 0.9 percent after the yen weakened against the dollar for a third day on Wednesday. All 41 economists in a Nov. 13-17 Bloomberg poll predict no change at the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting ending on Thursday. Forty-six percent of respondents don’t expect the BOJ to boost its current pace of asset purchases — up from 33 percent last month.