Japan’s Topix index rose for a fourth day, following U.S. equities higher, as investors awaited a Bank of Japan policy decision. Precision-instrument and drug makers led the advance.

The Topix added 0.5 percent to 1,647.03 as of 9:18 a.m. in Tokyo after climbing 3.7 percent the previous three days. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.5 percent to 20,482.44. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced for a fourth day on Tuesday as weak U.S. retail sales damped prospects for a September interest-rate increase.

Fed Chair Yellen addresses Congress for her semi-annual monetary policy testimony on Wednesday with traders paring rate-rise bets after a report showed sales at U.S. retailers unexpectedly dropped in June, upending optimism about the strength of the rebound in consumer spending in the second quarter.

All but two of 35 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the BOJ to keep policy unchanged when it concludes its two-day meeting today. More than a third of analysts in a separate survey said they don’t expect the Japanese central bank to ease more in the future.

Source : Bloomberg