Asian stocks posted gains for the first time this week while the euro weakened before an expected loosening of monetary policy by the European Central Bank. New Zealand’s Kiwi fell and its bonds jumped after a surprise interest-rate cut.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.4 percent and New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index advanced 0.8 percent hitting a record, while benchmarks declined in China and India. Japan’s Topix Index gained 1.5 percent.

The euro weakened 0.3 percent to $1.097, dropping almost 3 percent in the past month and making it the worst performer among major currencies. Economists are predicting that the ECB will cut its deposit rate Thursday from minus 0.3 percent and step up a 60 billion-euro ($66 billion) monthly bond-buying program.

NZ $ Down

The New Zealand dollar fell 0.2 percent to 66.42 U.S. cents, slipping for a fourth straight day. The nation’s central bank lowered its benchmark interest rate a quarter of a percentage point to a record 2.25 percent and said further easing may be needed owing to a worsening outlook for the global economy.

Australia’s currency fell 0.2 percent to 74.68 U.S. cents after touching 75.28 on Wednesday, the strongest since July. Japan’s yen retreated 0.2 percent, slipping for a second day. The won strengthened 1.1 percent versus the dollar, trimming this year’s loss to 2.6 percent and the Bank of Korea’s left interest rates unchanged.

Oil traded at $38.16 a barrel in New York, after jumping 4.9 percent on Wednesday to $38.29, the highest closing price since Dec. 4. Gold fell 0.6 percent, after losing 1.1 percent in the previous two trading sessions.

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