Sun, Feb 03, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Asian stocks rise on Japan earnings, China industry

LOOKING UP:Strong Japanese equities earnings and a rise in Chinese industrial profits pushed markets up, as gauges recorded notably improved economic sentiment


Asian stocks rose this week, with the regional benchmark index capping a three-month rally as Japanese equities gained on earnings and a pickup in Chinese industrial profits highlighted the region’s growth.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.7 percent to 132.71 this week, capping a 3 percent advance for last month. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average extended its record weekly winning streak since at least 1970. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index, excluding Japan, added 0.6 percent.

“Asian markets tend to do well when global economic prospects are improving,” said Khiem Do, Hong Kong-based head of Asian multi-asset strategy at Baring Asset Management Ltd.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index on Wednesday reached the highest level since August 2011 and has rallied about 11 percent since Nov. 14 last year.

The measure traded at 14.6 times average estimated earnings compared with 13.7 for Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 12.4 times for the STOXX Europe 600 Index, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The Nikkei 225 gained 2.4 percent this week, capping a 12-week advance after the Japanese Cabinet Office on Monday boosted its outlook for real GDP growth to 2.5 percent in the year to March 31 next year, from 1.7 percent.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 1.8 percent this week after capping a 10-day rally on Wednesday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.6 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced 5.6 percent, South Korea’s KOSPI added 0.6 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.7 percent. Taiwan’s TAIEX climbed 2.4 percent, after ending Friday’s trading at 7,855.97 compared with 7,672.58 on Jan. 25.

Chinese industrial companies’ profit rose 17 percent from a year earlier to 895 billion yuan (US$144 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics said last week in Beijing.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index was 50.4 last month, compared with 50.6 in December last year, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said on Friday in Beijing as they more than tripled the number of companies surveyed.

A gauge from HSBC Holdings PLC and Markit Economics covering fewer businesses rose to a two-year high of 52.3 from 51.5. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.

In other markets on Friday:

Manila increased 1.22 percent from Thursday, adding 75.87 points to 6,318.61.

Wellington fell 6.71 0.16 percent, or 0.16 percent, to 4,245.93.

Mumbai fell 0.57 percent, or 113.79 points. to 19,781.19 points.

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