Sun, May 05, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Asian bank, tech stocks soar as MSCI continues rally

Agencies, with staff writer

Shares of Asian banks and information technology companies advanced this week as Macquarie Group Ltd and Samsung Electronics Co posted higher profits, while Japanese exporters fell as the yen touched a two-week high.

Macquarie, Australia’s largest investment bank, jumped 14 percent, while Samsung Electronics gained 3.3 percent. Esprit Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong-based clothier, climbed 8.8 percent in Hong Kong after the European Central Bank cut its interest rate to a record low.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed for the week at 140.02, with about six shares rising for every five that fell. The measure has rallied for the past six months, the longest winning streak since September 2009, on optimism that Japan will boost stimulus.

The Asian benchmark traded at 14 times estimated earnings on Friday, compared with 14.7 times for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 13.1 times for the STOXX Europe 600 Index.

Of the 281 companies on the MSCI Index that reported quarterly results since April 1, about 53 percent surpassed analyst estimates, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

In Taipei, the TAIEX added 0.1 percent to end Friday’s trading at 8,135.03, compared with 8,022.06 last week.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (鴻海精密) rose 1.44 percent to NT$77.5 on Friday, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) fell 0.45 percent to NT$110.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.6 percent, as South Korea’s KOSPI climbed 1.1 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.6 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.3 percent in a two-day trading week.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 2.7 percent to a record-high 7,215.35 on Friday after the nation won its second investment-grade debt rating on Thursday.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index slipped 1 percent, declining for the first time in six weeks, ahead of the national elections today.

Japan’s TOPIX, the broadest measure of the country’s equity performance, dropped 0.7 percent this week as the yen strengthened to a two-week high on April 30.

In other markets on Friday:

Mumbai fell 0.81 percent, or 160.13 points, from Thursday to 19,575.64.

Wellington fell 0.66 percent, or 30.14 points, to 4,544.32.

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