Asian stocks rose, with the benchmark regional index set to gain for the first week in the past three, after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the bank stands ready to buy bonds to ease the region’s debt crisis and as US economic data beat estimates.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.4 percent to 122.84 as of 6:19pm in Tokyo, with about five shares rising for each three that fell on the gauge. For the week, the index is headed for a 0.3 percent gain. Markets in China are closed for a holiday.
“At the moment, the market is telling us there won’t be an additional blowup or crisis in Europe in the near term,” said Donald Williams, Sydney-based chief investment officer at Platypus Asset Management Ltd. “Equity markets are turning up. It almost doesn’t matter which market you look at.”
Shares on the Taiwan Stock Exchange remained in a consolidation mode ahead of the 7,700 point mark on Friday as the index drifted aimlessly on a lack of fresh incentives from overseas, dealers said.
Select stocks, such as integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科), outperformed the broader market on their individual positive leads, but there was no mainstream sector lead to make a breakthrough in the index, dealers said.
The TAIEX closed Friday up 8.31 points, or 0.10 percent, at 7,690.65, from 7,715.16 on Sept. 28.
“Market sentiment remained cautious as many investors were waiting for the third quarter results to be released by companies on Wall Street later this month,” Grand Cathay Securities’ (大華證券) Mars Hsu (徐振家) said.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.4 percent after falling earlier as the Bank of Japan maintained its asset- purchase plan at ￥55 trillion yen (US$700 billion), preserving its policy firepower despite political pressure for more easing and signs of an economic contraction.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.9 percent to reach the highest level since last year in August. South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.5 percent.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 7.9 percent this year through yesterday as policymakers boosted stimulus measures to counter the global slowdown and EU crisis. The Asian benchmark trades at 12.9 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 13.9 times for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 12 times for the STOXX Europe 600 Index.
The National Stock Exchange of India said 59 erroneous orders were responsible for a plunge and halt in trading today, briefly erasing about US$58 billion in value from the stock market. Trading in the S&P CNX Nifty Index and some individual companies halted at 9:49am local time for 15 minutes after the 50-stock measure plunged as much as 16 percent to 4,888.20.
In other markets on Friday:
Manila closed flat, edging down 3.90 points from Thursday to 5,439.84.
Wellington rose 0.59 percent, or 22.86 points, from Thursday to 3,904.85.
Mumbai fell 0.63 percent, or 119.69 points, from Thursday to 18938.46.