Asian Stocks Rise As Investors Mull US Interest-Rate Outlook . Investors are watching key economic data including those on industrial production and inflation to weigh the outlook for when the Federal Reserve will raise borrowing costs.
Asian stocks rose for a second day as investors weighed the outlook for U.S. interest rates amid signs the world's biggest economy is strengthening. Japanese shares advanced as the yen weakened.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.1 percent to 138.25 as of 9:05 a.m. in Tokyo, after sliding the most in a month last week. Japan's Topix index rose 0.2 percent as the yen traded at 104.11 against the U.S. dollar. Investors are watching key economic data including those on industrial production and inflation to weigh the outlook for when the Federal Reserve will raise borrowing costs. Fed Chair Janet Yellen signaled Friday the central bank will remain deliberate in raising interest rates as the odds for monetary tightening in December hovered above 60 percent.
"Several major global events could keep investors on the edge," said Vasu Menon, vice president for wealth management research at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. in Singapore. "U.S. economic data like inflation for September and home construction, home sales and industrial output figures will be eagerly anticipated for clues about the Fed's interest rate policy."
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Futures on FTSE China A50 Index added 0.1 percent in their most recent trading, while those on the Hang Seng Index climbed 0.3 percent. Investors are anticipating Chinese economic data on industrial production, retail sales and gross domestic product that are all due on Wednesday after a report last week showed the nation's exports unexpectedly dropped in September.
"If China's economic growth comes in below 6.7 percent, which was the growth rate in the first two quarters of this year, this could lead to fears that the Chinese economy is weakening once again despite stimulus," OCBC's Menon said.
Futures on the Standard & Poor's index lost 0.2 percent. The underlying U.S. equity benchmark index closed little changed on Friday as data on retail sales and wholesale prices added to signs the world's biggest economy is strengthening, bolstering the case for the Fed to raise interest rates.
Yellen said Friday at a Boston Fed conference there are "plausible ways" that running the economy hot for a while could repair some damage caused to growth during the recession, indicating a willingness to slowly tighten policy even as inflation reaches or surpasses the central banks' target.
Oil fell as U.S. producers increased drilling while an accord between Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries over crude output remained in the balance ahead of a November production meeting. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.7 percent in Asian trading, heading for a second day of decline.