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Asia Markets: Asian markets post gains as BOJ stays pat

Equity markets in Asia extended overnight gains in the U.S. early Thursday, lifted by expectations of upbeat earnings reports and higher oil prices, though investor caution over central-bank action has capped the upside.

Investors were awaiting central-bank decisions by the Bank of Japan — which maintained its monetary policy Thursday and pushed back its inflation goal — and the European Central Bank, due later in the day. While the banks were widely expected to stand pat, the focus now is on any fresh guidance from the ECB toward tighter monetary policy.

“They are on a path of preparing markets for a withdrawal of stimulus,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

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