Asian stocks were trying get into a festive mood on Wednesday, and managed small gains with even Japan’s Nikkei lifting off a two-month low it hit following the Bank of Japan’s surprise decision to loosen its tight leash on government bond yields.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) rose 0.6%. Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) was down 0.2%, paring earlier losses of around 1%. Gold miners in Australia led a 1.3% jump for the S&P/ASX 200 (.AXJO).
Wall Street snapped a four-day losing streak overnight and S&P 500 futures rose 0.5% in Asia trade.
On Tuesday the Bank of Japan (BOJ) widened its trading band for 10-year government bond yields from 25 basis points (bps) either side of zero to 50 bps.
That triggered a leap in the yen, which had spent most of the year sliding because of Japan’s low yields, selling in Japan’s stock market and a selloff for bonds around the world.
The resultant drop for the U.S. dollar has spot gold prices testing six-month peaks and gold miners riding high. Newcrest (NCM.AX) rose 6% in Sydney and smaller names even more. Global miners BHP (BHP.AX) and Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) rose 2%.