Emerging-Market Stocks Gain on Commodities; China Banks Advance

Emerging-market stocks rose for a second day after gains in oil and copper bolstered commodity stocks and amid speculation Chinese banks will report improved earnings this year.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index advanced 0.5 percent to 1,131.14 as of 2:24 p.m. Jakarta time. About two stocks gained for each one that fell. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.7 percent, rising for the first time in six days. India’s Sensitive Index, or Sensex, gained 0.8 percent, set for the highest close in more than six weeks. Russia’s Micex index added 0.3 percent.

Cnooc Ltd., China’s largest offshore oil producer, advanced 2.3 percent and Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd., India’s biggest copper and zinc producer, rose 1.9 percent. China Construction Bank Corp., the nation’s No. 2 bank by market value, climbed for the first time in five days. KT&G Corp, South Korea’s biggest tobacco maker, plunged 5 percent after the stock went ex-dividend today.

“Resources stocks, including producers of oil and other fuel, are in favor because of the seasonal factor,” said Steve Tse, a research manager at BEA Union Investment Management in Hong Kong. “Chinese banks will show earnings growth for this year.”

Crude oil futures gained 0.5 percent to $91.49 yesterday, after touching $91.88, the highest price since October 2008, on Dec. 27 in intraday trading. Futures were little changed today. Copper jumped to a record on the London Metal Exchange, catching up with gains in other metals markets. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 1 percent to $9,437.50 a metric ton, surpassing the previous peak of $9,392 reached on Dec. 21.

Cnooc, Sterlite

Cnooc was set for its highest close in two weeks. PetroChina Co., the nation’s largest oil and gas producer, increased 2.3 percent. In Mumbai, Sterlite Industries snapped a two-day drop, while Hindalco Industries Ltd., India’s largest aluminum producer, increased 1.5 percent.

China Construction Bank Corp., the nation’s No. 2 bank by market value, gained 2.1 percent in Hong Kong trading. Bank of Communications Co. rose 1.6 percent.

China’s banking industry may have 800 billion yuan ($121 billion) in profit this year, the China Securities Journal said, citing Yang Zaiping, vice chairman of the nation’s banking association. That’s higher than the 668.4 billion yuan of profit for the nation’s banking industry in 2009, according to data from the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

South Korean companies went ex-dividend today, meaning investors who buy the shares don’t get the rights to the year’s final dividend payments.

KT&G Corp., Kangwon Land Inc., KT Corp., and SK Telecom Co. dropped more than 4 percent each, posting the biggest percentage declines among the 802 companies making up the MSCI gauge of developing nations today. The companies have the highest dividend yields among South Korea’s 50 largest publicly traded companies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Berni Moestafa in Jakarta at bmoestafa@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Richard Frost at rfrost4@bloomberg.net

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