Asian stocks looked set to extend gains from a two-month high, with data on China’s economy expected to provide a catalyst for investors still anxious over the global outlook and the eventual withdrawal of central bank stimulus.

Australian stocks opened higher for a third straight day, while futures on equity indexes from Hong Kong to Japan signaled gains following a third weekly advance for shares globally. The Australian and New Zealand dollars, bellwethers for China given their commodity-trading links, held on to declines from Friday with economists predicting Asia’s largest economy grew at its slowest pace since the global financial crisis last quarter, after China’s shock yuan devaluation sparked a selloff in equities and raw materials. U.S. oil maintained its climb back above $47 a barrel.

Chinese stocks slumped the most in the world in 3Q, spurring losses among equities globally and commodities as well

Stabilization in Chinese stocks along with growing expectations the Federal Reserve will put off raising U.S. interest rates until next year has underpinned the advance, along with a recovery in commodities from crude oil to industrial metals. Energy and raw-materials producers have driven the October gains, followed by technology stocks. The European Central Bank will issue a review on monetary policy later this week, with investors focused on any commentary on the outlook for the region’s quantitative-easing program.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.1 percent to 2,024 as of 8:45 a.m. Tokyo time, after the U.S. benchmark ended Friday up 0.5 percent at an eight-week high, capping a climb in the week of 0.9 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.4 percent, while the S&P/NZX 50 Index rose a seventh straight day in Wellington, extending its longest rally since July.

In Japan, futures on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average were bid up by 0.2 percent to 18,330 in the Osaka pre-market, while yen-denominated contracts traded in Chicago slipped 0.2 percent to 18,325 after rallying over the previous two sessions. Those on the Kospi index in Seoul added 0.4 percent.

Elsewhere, contracts on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.3 percent Friday with futures on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, a gauge of mainland Chinese stocks listed in the city. FTSE China A50 Index futures added 0.7 percent in Singapore.

Optimism Chinese policy makers will increase measures to boost growth fueled gains Friday in the biggest U.S. exchange-traded fund tracking Chinese shares. The Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF climbed 1.2 percent to its highest level since Aug. 20. Economists project Monday’s data will show China’s economy grew 6.8 percent last quarter from a year earlier, the slowest rate since 2009.

Source : Bloomberg