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[TOKYO] Asian stocks climbed, building on their biggest five-day advance in almost four years, as Samsung Electronics Co jumped after quarterly profit topped estimates and investors awaited a Bank of Japan decision on monetary policy.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2 per cent to 129.23 as of 9:03 am in Tokyo, as Samsung rallied 3.8 per cent to provide the biggest boost to the regional gauge. The company posted third-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates as the weaker Korean currency boosted component revenue and blunted the impact of price cuts on Galaxy smartphones. Japan's Topix index added 0.2 per cent before BOJ board members and Governor Haruhiko Kuroda decide whether to expand already unprecedented monetary stimulus.
"As chances for additional stimulus are very low, even if stocks rise early on anticipation of easing, they will probably pull back in the afternoon," said Chihiro Ohta, general manager of investment information at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc in Tokyo. "And with Kuroda's press conference coming after the market close, today might be a day of simply waiting for further clues on direction." Thirty-four of 36 analysts forecast that the Japanese central bank willforgo further easing, with just two predicting a move, according to a Bloombergsurvey. Fifteen are forecasting additional stimulus at the next meeting on Oct 30.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.4 per cent and New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 Index was little changed. South Korea's Kospi index rose 0.4 per cent. Mainland Chinese markets remain closed for a holiday, while Hong Kong is yet to open.
Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped 0.2 per cent after concern over pharmaceutical pricing and company earnings spurred a slump for drugmakers on Tuesday. The underlying measure slipped 0.4 per cent to end its longest winning streak this year.
"The recovery in US markets began to show signs of fatigue," Matthew Sherwood, head of investment strategy at Perpetual Ltd. in Sydney, which manages about US$21 billion, wrote in an e-mail to clients. "There was little macro data out of note last night, which provided investors with time to analyse what had changed during the recent five-day rally and the answer was not a lot."