Asian Stocks Rise on U.S. Consumer Sentiment, China Manufacturing Reports

Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index rebounding from its first monthly decline in three months, as reports showed U.S. consumer confidence increased and China’s manufacturing activity expanded.

Honda Motor Co., the Japanese automaker that gets more than 40 percent of sales from North America, gained 2.3 percent in Tokyo. Fanuc Corp., a maker of industrial robots that receives about 40 of revenue from Asia excluding Japan, climbed 1.8 percent. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the largest contract maker of chips, climbed 1.9 percent in Taipei. Suzlon Energy Ltd., India’s largest maker of wind turbines, surged 8 percent after its German unit won a supply contract in the U.K.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 1.1 percent to 130.1 as of 7:36 p.m. in Tokyo, with more than two stocks climbing for each that fell. The measure fell as much as 0.1 percent earlier.

“Looking at the recent global macroeconomic indicators, we’re still moderately positive on equities,” said Pearlyn Wong, an investment analyst in Singapore at Bank Julius Baer, which manages about $262 billion in client assets worldwide. “Investors should bear in mind the potential risks out there from escalating tensions in the Korean peninsula to Europe’s worsening debt crisis.”

The Asia Pacific gauge fell 0.6 percent last month, the first decline in three months, amid concern China will intensify efforts to curb inflation, speculation Europe will fail to contain the region’s sovereign-debt crisis from spreading and as tensions in the Korean peninsula escalated.

Australian GDP

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 0.5 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi Index jumped 1.3 percent as the nation’s exports expanded for a 13th consecutive month in November. Taiwan’s Taiex Index advanced 1.8 percent.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.1 percent after a report showed the nation’s economy expanded at half the pace forecast by economists in the third quarter as a stronger currency hurt exports. Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index rallied 2.5 percent, the most among Asia-Pacific benchmark indexes.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.1 percent. The nation’s Purchasing Managers’ Index, a survey of manufacturing activity, rose to 55.2 from 54.7 in October, China’s logistics federation said on its website today. That was more than the 54.8 median estimate of 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. A PMI released by HSBC Holdings Plc also jumped.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 1.1 percent, while India’s Sensitive Index gained 1.7 percent.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 0.9 percent today. The index dropped 0.6 percent yesterday in New York amid concern that Europe’s crisis of government debt will worsen and as Google Inc., the world’s biggest Internet-search company, faced an antitrust probe.

Portugal Credit Rating

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said that it may cut Portugal’s credit ratings on concern that the government has made little progress at boosting economic growth to offset the fiscal drag from scheduled 2011 budget cuts.

Gauges of consumer discretionary and industrial companies as well as energy and raw material producers led the advance among the 10 industry groups in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index.

Honda Motor climbed 2.3 percent to 3,080 yen. Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker that gets about 30 percent of sales from North America, increased 2.8 percent to 3,310 yen. Fanuc, Japan’s biggest maker of industrial robots, rose 1.8 to 12,200 yen.

Nintendo Co., a maker of video-game consoles which counts the Americas as its biggest market, advanced 2.2 percent to 23,230 yen. Taiwan Semiconductor, the chip maker that gets more than half of sales from America, gained 1.9 percent to NT$64.6.

Consumer Sentiment

Confidence among U.S. consumers rose in November to the highest level in five months and a gauge of business activity unexpectedly climbed, signaling the recovery is taking hold heading into 2011.

The Conference Board’s sentiment index increased to 54.1, exceeding the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey, figures from the New York-based research group showed yesterday. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said its business gauge advanced to the highest since April.

Suzlon surged 8 percent to 51.55 rupees in Bombay. The company said its German unit won a contract to supply turbines, with a combined capacity of 43 megawatts, to Energiekontor AG’s two wind farms in the U.K. Korea Electric Power Corp., supplier of almost all of South Korea’s electricity, increased 2.4 percent to 28,350 won in Seoul after KTB Securities Co. said the share price is “severely low.”

Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s biggest company, climbed 4.3 percent to HK$81. The company said it will buy 14.1 million shares in Husky Energy Inc., a Canadian oil producer, for C$345.5 million ($338 million) to help finance the Calgary, Alberta-based company’s expansion plans.

Wharf (Holdings) Ltd., owner of two of Hong Kong’s largest shopping centers, jumped 7.1 percent to HK$55.90 after saying it bought two plots of land, valued at 1.12 billion yuan ($168 million) in China’s Jiangsu province.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Burgos in Singapore at jburgos4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net.

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