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Emerging-Market Stocks Rise for First Time This Week on Oil Drop

Emerging-market stocks rebounded from a four-day decline as crude oil retreated below $100 a barrel, easing concerns the global economic recovery will slow.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index climbed 0.6 percent to 1,094.05 at 1:42 p.m. in Singapore, paring the week’s decline to 2.5 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex Index gained 0.9 percent. India’s benchmark stock measure added 0.4 percent. Vietnam’s VN Index rebounded 1.2 percent from its lowest close since Dec. 9.

Developing nation equities halted their longest losing streak in two weeks after the U.S., Saudi Arabia and the International Energy Agency made assurances they can compensate for any disruption to oil supplies caused by an uprising in Libya, Africa’s third-largest producer. Korean Air Lines Co. led an advance by carriers. Hynix Semiconductor Inc. rallied in Seoul after analysts said prices for memory chips may climb.

“It’s a rebound fueled by the statement by Saudi Arabia that they will step in to bump up oil production,” said Jason Chong, who helps manage about $900 million of assets as chief investment officer at Manulife Asset Management Malaysia) Sdn. in Kuala Lumpur. “There are still uncertainties and geopolitical risk in the Middle East, though we view the current correction as an opportunity to buy on weakness.”

New York oil futures retreated from $103.41 yesterday, the highest in 29 months, after President Barack Obama said the U.S. will be able to “ride out” a cut resulting from turmoil in Libya. Crude for April delivery lost as much as 0.7 percent $96.61 a barrel. Crude recently traded at $97.76 a barrel.

Airlines Advance

Korean Air Lines, South Korea’s largest carrier, jumped 4.8 percent in Seoul. AirAsia Bhd., Southeast Asia’s biggest budget airline, surged 6 percent in Kuala Lumpur trading after fourth- quarter profit increased ninefold from a year earlier.

Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of computer-memory chips, rose 4.1 percent after analysts said contract prices may climb next month. Unisem Bhd., Malaysia’s second-biggest semiconductor assembler, surged 6.1 percent after fourth-quarter net income rose 16 percent from a year earlier to 40.7 million ringgit on higher sales.

HTC Corp. surged by the 6.8 percent daily limit in Taipei on speculation the sale of new handsets from next month will boost revenue, said Chen Wei-hang, an analyst at President Capital Management Corp. HTC Chief Financial Officer Winston Yung didn’t answer two calls to his office at Taoyuan, Taiwan.

China Banks

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s largest bank by market value, led gains by Chinese lenders.

China’s inflation price gains may have cooled to 4.8 percent in February from 4.9 percent in January, China International Capital Corp. and Shenyin & Wanguo Securities Co. said in separate notes today.

“As we get into the back half of the year, some of the near-term cyclical inflation we’re seeing right now in China, Brazil and most other emerging markets will start to abate,” Russ Koesterich, the San Francisco-based head of investment strategy for scientific active equities at BlackRock Inc., said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

Vietnam’s VN Index climbed after slumping 12 percent from its December peak through yesterday. Stocks have fallen on concern a government plan to curb inflation will slow the economy, according to Bao Viet Securities Co. and Vietnam International Securities Co.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chan Tien Hin in Kuala Lumpur at thchan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net

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