Nikkei climbs on hopes BOJ will announce more easing later in day

miércoles 27 de abril de 2016 22:53 GYT

By Joshua Hunt

TOKYO, April 28 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose for the first time in four days on Thursday morning as investors waited to see if the Bank of Japan will deploy more stimulus when it announces its policy decision later this afternoon.

The Nikkei share average climbed 1.4 percent to 17,532.47 during late morning trade as investors took in stride the U.S. Federal Reserve's as-expected decision to leave rates unchanged on Wednesday.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange will be closed for a national holiday on Friday and the benchmark Nikkei index is on track to end the shortened trading week flat.

Overnight, the Fed left interest rates unchanged and kept the door open to a hike in June while showing little sign it was in a hurry to tighten monetary policy amid an apparent slowdown in the U.S. economy.

Markets are now focused on this afternoon's BOJ decision, with growing expectation that the central bank might step up stimulus to nurse a stubbornly weak economy back to life and stoke inflation.

"Coming off the Fed's comments yesterday, markets are expecting some form of easing from the BOJ, though they may have to get creative with today's statements," said Andrew Meredith, co-managing director at Tyton Capital Advisors.

Market players said that the number of investors waiting on the sidelines could spark a rally even without significant policy action from the BOJ.

Oil prices hit fresh 2016 highs after the Fed's decision, while U.S. stocks edged up and the yen remained subdued in early trade.   Continuación...