Japanese stocks may extend gains after completing their first winning month in six on signs the US, the world's biggest economy, may not be slowing as much as some investors had expected.
\nThe Nikkei 225 Stock Average's five biggest members -- Kyocera Corp, Tokyo Electron Ltd, Advantest Corp, Fanuc Ltd and TDK Corp -- which all depend on US demand, may rally.
\nUS reports in the week just ended showed better-than-expected home sales, rising consumer spending and falling initial jobless claims. That suggests consumers may demand more Japanese made goods. Next week's reports on manufacturing and factory orders may also indicate that growth in the region's largest export market may be rebounding.
\n"Many investors had expected consumption in the US to be weak during the Christmas shopping season, but recent economic reports are starting to counter those opinions," said Hiroaki Muto, who helps oversee US$60 billion in assets at Nissay Asset Management Corp. "That helps boost expectations Japanese exporters" will advance.
\nSamsung Electronics Co in South Korea and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. may advance on optimism demand for the region's semiconductors used in computers, mobile phones and cameras, will pick up. Hong Kong exporter Li & Fung Ltd may also gain.
\nIn Australia, banks may extend declines in the past month on concern about slowing profit growth in the industry.
\nIn the week just ended, the Nikkei added 5.1 percent to 9,215.56, while the broader Topix index climbed 3.9 percent to 892.71. For the month, the Nikkei rose 6.7 percent, while the Topix advanced 3.5 percent, their first winning months since May.
\nTaiwan transport companies, such as China Airlines (
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