Sun, Sep 15, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Asian stocks cap best 14 days since 2012

GAMES ON:Tokyo’s selection as the host of the 2020 Olympics and better-than-expected data from China drove the rally, but markets fell on Friday on US worries

Bloomberg and AFP

Asian stocks rose this week, sending the benchmark index to its biggest two-week climb since January last year, after Tokyo was chosen to host the 2020 Olympics and as data showed China’s economy is picking up. The rally reversed course on Friday ahead of a US Federal Reserve meeting next week.

Taisei Corp, a Japanese building contractor expected to benefit from the Olympics, jumped 24 percent since Sept. 6 in Tokyo.

BYD Co (比亞迪) gained 13 percent in Hong Kong on a report that the automaker is developing an electric vehicle to challenge Tesla Motors Inc after China’s Hebei Provincial Government said it is seeking to increase sales of new energy vehicles. BYD is aiming to make a car that can accelerate to 99kph in 3.9 seconds, Sina.com reported, citing founder Wang Chuanfu (王傳福)

In Mumbai, Wockhardt Ltd, a maker of insulin and hepatitis vaccines, soared 28 percent after Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc settled patent litigation over a drug.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 2.5 percent to 137.09 this week, taking its climb since Aug. 30 to 5.3 percent as China reported better-than-estimated exports and industrial production data. Shares declined on Friday as investors weighed diplomatic negotiations seeking to avert a US military strike on Syria and the Fed’s meeting.

Investors already anticipate a reduction of the US central bank’s US$85 billion in monthly bond purchases and do not expect a sudden change in markets if it occurs, according to 57 percent of respondents in a Bloomberg Global Poll.

Asia’s benchmark index was valued at 13.4 times estimated earnings on Thursday, compared with multiples of about 15.2 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 14.2 for the STOXX Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In Taipei, the TAIEX rose 0.1 percent this week to close at 8,168.2 on Friday compared with 8,164.20 on Sept. 6.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (鴻海精密) rose 0.27 percent to NT$75, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) slipped 0.97 percent to NT$102.5.

In an extraordinary trading session yesterday, the TAIEX shed 0.31 percent to end at 8,142.48.

With foreign traders sidelined for the weekend, turnover in the market fell sharply. Market sentiment remained cautious, prompting many traders to sit idle throughout the session awaiting a conclusion from the Fed meeting, dealers said.

The market expects the Fed to decide to tighten liquidity in the meeting, but many investors remained wary of how the US central bank will do this, they added.

In Japan, the TOPIX climbed 3.3 percent this week after Tokyo won the rights to host the 2020 Olympics. Taisei jumped 24 percent to ¥506, while Hitachi Construction Machinery Co gained 18 percent to ¥2,384. General contractor Tokyu Construction Co led the TOPIX higher this week as its shares more than doubled. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 3.9 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.3 percent this week, erasing this year’s losses, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, also known as the H-share index, entered a bull market after rising more than 20 percent from its June low.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped 4.5 percent as data showed the nation’s inflation remained subdued last month, while other economic reports beat expectations. Exports rose 7.2 percent from a year earlier last month, exceeding the 5.5 percent median estimate, as retail sales climbed 13.4 percent and the broadest measure of new credit almost doubled.

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