|Published : 21 Sep 2016, 14:44:59|
Australian shares inch up before potential BOJ storm
Australian shares inched up on Wednesday, ahead of a Bank of Japan policy decision amid speculation that it will make critical changes to its massive stimulus programme.
The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 0.2 per cent or 8.13 points to 5,311.7 by 0151 GMT.
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) is expected to make negative interest rates the centrepiece of a new policy framework.
Investors also are awaiting a US Federal Reserve policy decision due later in the global day.
Both hawkish and dovish comments from Fed officials recently have fanned volatility in the markets, although consensus is now centred on a US rate hike by year-end.
Australia's benchmark index was pushed higher by gains in financials and materials.
Australia and New Zealand Banking group extended gains into a sixth-straight session to climb more than 1.0 per cent.
Whitehaven Coal was one of the top performers, rising as much as 5.2 per cent to touch a more than three-year high, on the back of a rise in thermal coal price forecasts.
Global miner BHP Billiton Ltd rose for a fifth-straight day, rising 1.0 per cent before shedding some of the gains.
Retail giant Wesfarmers Ltd gained as much as 1.4 per cent to hit a near one-month high, according to a news agency report.