Japanese stocks rose for a second day, led by steel producers, as the yen held losses against the dollar ahead of a policy meeting by the Bank of Japan.
The Topix index added 0.3 percent to 1,376.67 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, with all but four of its 33 industry groups rising. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.4 percent to 17,085.56. The yen weakened 0.1 percent to 117.71 per dollar. Futures on the Standard & Poor™s 500 Index slipped 0.2 percent today. U.S. markets were closed Monday for Martin Luther King Day.
The BOJ meets today and tomorrow in Tokyo with all 33 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecasting no change to monetary policy after it boosted an already unprecedented bond-buying program in October. The European Central Bank also meets, with speculation it will announce additional stimulus measures on Jan. 22. China publishes data on economic growth, industrial production and retail sales today after a tightening of margin lending regulation drove an equity rout.