Sun, Mar 03, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Asian equities climb on US data

Staff writer, with Agencies

Asian stocks climbed for a second week, with the regional benchmark index posting its biggest weekly advance in two months, as US economic data bolstered confidence in the global recovery and Japan’s prime minister nominated an advocate of stimulus to head the central bank.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.9 percent to 134.70 this week, the biggest weekly advance since Jan. 4.

Taiwanese shares got a boost from further inflows of foreign funds on Friday to close nearly a percent higher at above the 7,900-point mark, dealers said.

The weighted index closed up 0.84 percent from Wednesday at 7,964.63 points.

The market was closed on Thursday for a holiday.

For the week, the TAIEX closed up 0.2 percent.

On Friday, old economy stocks, in particular in the food sector, attracted strong buying on their relatively low valuations, while select high-tech stocks, such as flat panel manufacturers, posted gains to push the index even higher, dealers said.

However, the market’s upward momentum slowed as the index moved closer to the nearest point of technical resistance at around 8,000 points, they said.

“The market was basically driven by high liquidity,” Concord Securities (康和證券) analyst Kerry Huang said. “But as turnover failed to expand significantly, it was no surprise that the gains simply stalled before 8,000 points.”

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 1.9 percent this week, extending gains after capping a seven-month advance, the longest such streak since 2006.

South Korea’s KOSPI added 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 0.4 percent.

The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 2 percent. China’s manufacturing expansion unexpectedly slowed last month ahead of a National People’s Congress next week that will set this year’s growth target.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index benchmark traded at 14.8 times estimated earnings compared with 13.7 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 12.4 for the STOXX Europe 600.

In other markets on Friday:

Manila skidded 1.18 percent, or 79.18 points, from Thursday to 6,642.27.

Wellington edged down 0.05 percent, or 2.02 points, to 4,317.99.

Mumbai rose 0.30 percent, or 56.98 points, to 18,918.52.

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