Japan's yen tumbled against major peers while stocks rose sharply after reports indicated that Bank of Japan is mulling expanding its assets purchases program or bringing interest rates even deeper into negative levels, as the country combats chronic weak inflation and worries over its growth.
The Yen fell to a 16-day low against the dollar at 110.41, while last trading at 110.31, down a heavy 0.80% on the day, while the local stock market cheered the news, with the Nikkei index jumping to a t-1/2 month high at 17,572, up 1.20% on the day.
Other Asian shares weren't as spirited, with China's Shanghai index dipping 0.34% to 2,942, while Australian shares gave up 0.70%. South Korea's KOSPI edged down a third of a percentage point, while India's Nifty inched down 0.10%.
Oil prices resisted the headwinds and managed to expand their gains, with Brent crude futures up 65 cents, or 1.44% to trade at $45.17 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures added 68 cents, or 1.57% to hover around $43.87 a barrel.
Investors wait for an array of data later today, with the Eurozone's flash manufacturing PMI for April expected to to edge up to 51.8 from March's 51.6, which would indicate a steady growth in this important sector, helping the common currency,
From Canada, retail sales are forecast to have slid 0.8% m/m in February, compared to January's strong 2.1% surge, which would be negative for the loonie against its southern rival.