Asian Stocks Advance on BOJ Minutes, Before U.S. Data

Asian stocks rose, with the benchmark index gaining a fifth time in seven days, as Bank of Japan minutes showed policy makers weren’t ruling out any options to boost growth, and before a retail sales report expected to signal U.S. demand is recovering.

Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd. (551), which makes shoes for Nike Inc., rose 1.1 percent in Hong Kong. Noble Group Ltd., Asia’s biggest-listed commodity supplier, surged 12 percent in Singapore after second-quarter profit rose 39 percent. Swire Properties Ltd. (1972) slumped 4.2 in Hong Kong after saying John Swire & Sons Ltd. is selling shares in the commercial landlord.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) rose 0.4 percent to 120.58 as of 7:39 p.m. in Tokyo, erasing yesterday’s losses as almost two stocks advanced for each that retreated. The gauge climbed 3 percent last week, its biggest weekly gain since January, amid speculation China will do more to support economic growth.

“The global central banks’ attitude to prevent economies from falling into a serious slowdown is helping investor sentiment,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo, which oversees about $6.7 billion. “Data that would signal a rebound in the U.S. economy and steady personal spending is positive.”

Asia’s benchmark gauge fell 6.9 percent from this year’s high on Feb. 29 through yesterday amid concern earnings would be hurt by Europe’s debt crisis and slower growth in China. The index traded at 12.4 times estimated earnings compared with 13.6 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPXL1) and 11.6 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

BOJ Minutes

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average increased 0.5 percent. Shares gained after minutes of the Bank of Japan’s last meeting showed a few board members said the central bank should not dismiss any policy options in combating risks to the economy.

South Korea’s Kospi Index (KOSPI) rose 1.3 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) climbed 0.2 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index both advanced 0.8 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 1.1 percent and Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.2 percent today. The gauge slid 0.1 percent yesterday after commodities declined amid concern that Asia’s growth is slowing.

Sales at U.S. retailers probably rose in July for the first time in four months, according to the median estimate of economists polled before a Commerce Department report today. The projected 0.3 percent increased follows a 0.5 percent drop in June, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

U.S. Production

Output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities probably climbed 0.5 percent in July after a 0.4 percent gain the previous month, a separate report may show tomorrow.

Yue Yuen climbed 1.1 percent to HK$23.35 in Hong Kong, while Uniden Corp., an electronic equipment maker that counts North America as its biggest market, rose 5.9 percent to 181 yen in Tokyo.

Noble (NOBL) surged 12 percent to S$1.25 in Singapore after the commodity supplier’s net income rose to $194.8 million in the three months ended June 30 from $139.8 million a year earlier.

Swire Properties slumped 4.2 percent to HK$22.85 in Hong Kong. John Swire & Sons will sell 234 million shares of the company at HK$21.53 apiece, cutting its holdings in the company to 3.71 percent from 7.71 percent, it said in a statement. John Swire & Sons owns 44 percent of Swire Pacific Ltd., which owns 82 percent of Swire Properties.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kana Nishizawa in Hong Kong at knishizawa5@bloomberg.net

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

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