Asian stocks advanced to a seven-month high, completing a fourth straight year of gains.
Canon Inc, the world's largest digital-camera manufacturer, and LCD-maker AU Optronics Corp (
"The US economy has showed resilience and will remain a key buyer for Asian goods in 2007," said Jerry Chen, the Taipei-based head of funds management at First Global Investment Trust Co (
"Electronic makers will benefit from demand for new gadgets like game consoles," he said.
The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index rose 0.4 percent to 140.74 at 5:21pm in Tokyo, set for the highest close since May 11. The measure has risen 15 percent this year, its fourth annual gain. That's the longest stretch since calculations of that measure began in 1988.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 1.02 point to 17,225.83, completing the longest yearly winning streak since 1989, as Toyota Motor Corp surged to a record on the outlook for demand.
China's Shanghai and Shenzhen 300 Index climbed 3.1 percent to its highest ever, more than doubling this year.
China United Telecommunications Corp (
MSCI Asia-Pacific has climbed 21 percent since its low for the year on June 13 as the US Federal Reserve stopped raising interest rates and expansion in China and India, the world's fastest-growing major economies, powered demand for raw materials, goods and services.
All markets open in the region advanced yesterday, except in Hong Kong, India and Thailand. Stock measures in Australia and Singapore also rose to record highs. Japan, Australia and New Zealand had shortened hours in the last trading day of this year, while Indonesia and South Korea are closed.
Canon rose 0.8 percent to ?6,700 (US$56.35).
The stock surged 46 percent this year, when adjusted for a stock split. AU Optronics, the world's third-biggest liquid-crystal display maker, added 1.1 percent to NT$45.30. Venture Corp, Singapore's biggest producer of customized electronics, climbed 0.8 percent to S$13.50 (US$8.81).
The US Conference Board's index of consumer confidence climbed to 109 this month, the highest since April, from a revised reading of 105.3 for last month.
Meanwhile, sales of previously owned homes gained 0.6 percent to a 6.28 million annual rate last month, after rising 0.5 percent in October, the National Association of Realtors said.
"These latest US economic figures are an indication that consumers are willing to spend more," said James Chua, who helps manage US$200 million at Phillip Capital Management in Singapore. "That benefits Asia's exporters because we derive a large part of our sales from the US."
The Shanghai and Shenzhen index has risen 122 percent this year, making China the stock market performing best in Asia after Vietnam. The economy grew more than 10 percent for a fourth straight year and the IMF has estimated it will expand at that pace next year, double the projected 4.9 percent global growth rate.
China United, which controls the nation's second-largest cell-phone operator, advanced 3.8 percent to 4.68 yuan (US$0.60). ZTE Corp (中興通訊), China's biggest publicly traded phone-equipment maker, gained 2.7 percent to 38.93 yuan.
Xinhua said China will start high-speed cellular phone services next year in a "steady" manner because the country is ready for the third-generation network.
"The launch of a third-generation network is very positive to the telecom sector," said Lu Yizhen (
"China United and ZTE are the leaders in the industry" and will definitely benefit, he said.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South