Sun, Sep 08, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Asian stocks advance on economic recovery hopes

Agencies, TAIPEI and HONG KONG

Asian stocks rose this week, with the regional benchmark index posting its biggest weekly advance since April, as data from China, Europe and the US boosted optimism the global economy was recovering.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 2.8 percent to 133.76 this week after declining in three of the past four. Shares in China and Hong Kong led the advance after reports showed a gauge of Chinese manufacturing increased to a 16-month high and the nation’s services industry expanded. US service industries grew last month at the fastest pace in almost eight years.

“The market rebounded as we are getting improving economic data,” said Nader Naeimi, Sydney-based head of dynamic asset allocation at AMP Capital Investors Ltd. “With that improvement in economic data, we’ve seen a surge in bond yields and that’s bad for emerging markets with high current account deficits. Given this, the volatility in the equity market is likely to remain high.”

Yields on 10-year US treasuries rose to a two-year high of 3.005 percent before sliding to 2.93 percent in New York after a report of slower-than-forecast jobs growth eased concern the US Federal Reserve would cut stimulus.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 4.1 percent, the most since September last year. China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 2 percent, extending gains for a second week.

Taiwan’s TAIEX advanced 1.8 percent this week, although the index consolidated and closed at 8,164.20 on Friday, down 0.05 percent from Thursday.

The market opened up 0.14 percent on Friday and rose further to the day’s high on follow-though buying from a day earlier, but as the index moved closer to the nearest technical resistance level at about 8,200 points, profit-taking emerged and sent the bourse into the red, dealers said.

“It was a quiet day,” Ta Ching Securities (大慶證券) analyst Andy Hsu said. “Many investors were waiting for the US employment report.”

Largan Precision Co (大立光), which provides smartphone camera lenses to Apple, failed to react positively to a 14 percent month-on-month increase in sales for last month, which impacted market sentiment toward the electronics sector, dealers said.

“External factors are expected to continue to dictate the local bourse, but the index could have strong technical support at around 8,000 points,” Hsu said.

Meanwhile, Japan’s TOPIX jumped 3.8 percent this week as the yen weakened. South Korea’s KOSPI gained 1.5 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index added 0.6 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 1.2 percent.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.2 percent ahead of yesterday’s election, which polls indicate will see Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s minority Labor government lose to Tony Abbott’s Liberal-National coalition.

In other markets on Friday:

Manila rose 0.26 percent, or 15.4 points, from Thursday to 5,974.62.

Wellington fell 0.16 percent, or 7.17 points, to 4,597.18.

Mumbai rose 1.53 percent, or 290.3 points, to 19,270.06.

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