Asian shares gain as focus turns to central bank easing

On Monday, stocks in Asia edged up as market participants bet that global central banks would impose easing measures in order to encourage economic growth.  

Japanese Nikkei Stock Average closed +0.6%, hitting 15,775.80, Australian S&P/ASX 200  surged 0.7%, trading at 5,281.80 and Korean Kospi acquired 0.4% at 1,995.30. As for the Hang Seng Index it went up 1.4%, being worth 21,071.19, while Chinese Shanghai Composite Index grasped 1.9%, trading at 2,988.60.  

Market participants across the region were purchasing shares in the hopes that major banks, in particular the Bank of Japan, would loosen their policies by dropping interest rates or expanding their asset-buying programs.

Such policies would appear to be equity positive because corporate borrowing costs are getting lower when liquidity enters the financial system.

Investor expectations for looser monetary policies appeared to be solely apparent in China. Domestic stock traders were betting that the Fed would hold off on lifting interest rates in 2016, instead of doing this twice as officials had hoped for. 

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