Speculation is also rife the Bank of China O ring Manufacturers Japan will have to add yet more stimulus, though many doubt it will come at Friday’s first policy meeting of the year. Sources told Reuters the decision could be a close one but that policymakers were wary of using their diminishing options to counter what they see as factors beyond the BOJ’s control.”All eyes will be on the BOJ at the moment. Policymakers now have the difficult decision of steering into the wind and taking decisive action amid global instability, or sticking to the program and risking further defamation in the court of public opinion,” said Martin King, co-managing director at Tyton Capital Advisors.
Japanese investors seemed braced for disappointment and the Nikkei lost early gains to trade 0.3 percent lower. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan managed to add 0.3 percent, aided by a tentative bounce in China. The Shanghai benchmark rose 1.6 percent in early action, but remains sharply lower for the week.Oil prices extended their rare rally after Russian energy minister Alexander Novak and a senior Gulf OPEC delegate suggested that major oil producers may pare production.It remained unclear whether a rumoured deal to cut output by up to 5 percent would be struck anytime soon. U.S. crude was up a further 15 cents at $33.37 per barrel, while Brent futures firmed 11 cents to $34.00.
The semblance of stability in oil combined with some solid company results to lift Wall Street. The Dow gained 0.79 percent, while the S&P 500 added 0.55 percent and the Nasdaq Composite 0.86 percent. Facebook surged 15.5 percent in its biggest one-day leap since 2013 after smashing expectations, while Alphabet climbed 4.28 percent.Microsoft rose 4.5 percent in late trading after beating forecasts, but Amazon slumped 12 percent as profits missed analysts’ estimates by a wide margin. Economic news disappointed as U.S. durable goods dived 5.1 percent, the biggest decline in 16 months and just the latest indicator to undershoot forecasts.The saving grace for stocks was that debt markets reacted by further lowering the expected path of hikes from the Federal Reserve.