Asian Stocks Rise 7th Day as Fed Boosts Asset Purchases
Asian stocks rose a seventh day, sending the benchmark index to its longest winning streak since January 2011, after the Federal Reserve said it will buy mortgage-backed securities to bolster economic growth.
Techtronic Industries Co., a power tools maker that gets 72 percent of its sales in North America, gained 8.2 percent in Hong Kong. Zhaojin Mining Industry Co. surged 16 percent in Hong Kong after gold prices climbed to a six-month high. Daewoo Securities Co. paced gains among financial firms, jumping 15 percent in Seoul.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 2.3 percent to 123.79 as of 5:16 p.m. in Tokyo, set for its highest close since May 4. More than five stocks climbed for each that fell on the measure, which gained 3.9 percent this week, the biggest increase since December. Nine of the gauge’s 10 industry groups advanced.
“The Fed’s statement made clear that this monetary easing will go on until employment growth is satisfactory,” said Akio Yoshino, chief economist in Tokyo at Amundi Japan Ltd., whose global parent has $897 billion of assets under management. “This time around we have a clear link between the economy and monetary policy, and that’s a very big thing. It should give powerful support for markets.”
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 3.2 percent this quarter through yesterday as stimulus measures from Europe to China countered concerns about the euro-zone’s debt crisis and a global economic slowdown. The Asian benchmark traded at 12.8 times estimated earnings, compared with 14.1 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPXL1) and 12 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 1.8 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.2 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.2 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 2.9 percent as data showed the nation’s exports and imports gained in August from July.
The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 2.9 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex Index (TWSE) gained 2.1 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index increased 1.3 percent.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.5 percent today. The index jumped 1.6 percent in New York yesterday to the highest close since Dec. 31, 2007, after the Fed said it will conduct open-ended purchases of $40 billion of mortgage debt a month.
The central bank will continue its purchases of mortgage- backed securities and undertake other asset purchases if the outlook for the labor market doesn’t improve substantially, the Federal Open Market Committee said yesterday. It also said it would probably hold the federal funds rate near zero “at least through mid-2015.”
“The Fed isn’t going to hold any punches back in trying to combat a slowdown,” said Prasad Patkar, a portfolio manager who helps manage about $1 billion at Platypus Asset Management Ltd. in Sydney. “Risk appetite will improve in the short term not only because of what the Fed’s done, but also globally there seems to be enough motivation among policy makers in China and Europe to stimulate.”
Exporters to the U.S. advanced. Techtronic climbed 8.2 percent to HK$13.72 in Hong Kong. Komatsu Ltd. (6301), a Japanese construction machinery maker that gets 23 percent of its sales in the Americas, rose 4.5 percent to 1,681 yen. James Hardie Industries SE (JHX), a building-materials supplier that depends on the U.S. for two-thirds of its revenue, rose 2.9 percent to A$8.95 in Sydney.
Shares of resource companies gained after metals prices jumped. Zhaojin Mining surged 16 percent to HK$13.38 in Hong Kong after cash gold rose to its highest level since Feb. 29.
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. gained 9.4 percent to 1,010 yen in Tokyo. In Sydney, miners BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) rose 1.6 percent to A$33.31 and Rio Tinto Group advanced 2.8 percent to A$56.58.
Financial shares accounted for 36 percent of the advance in the Asia Pacific benchmark. Daewoo Securities soared 15 percent to 13,450 won and Korea Investment Holdings Co. jumped 14 percent to 42,000 won in Seoul. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (8306), Japan’s biggest bank, rose 3.8 percent to 383 yen.
Among other stocks that rose, Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., Hong Kong’s No. 1 developer by market value, advanced 4.4 percent to HK$111.80 after its full-year underlying profit beat estimates.
In Sydney, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. halted trading after its shares plunged 14 percent yesterday. Australia’s third- largest iron ore producer said it’s made progress in talks with lenders to restructure bank loans.
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