Emerging-market stocks rallied from the lowest level in four weeks and currencies strengthened after better-than-estimated Chinese trade figures bolstered confidence in the world’s second-largest economy.
Cosco Pacific Ltd. (1199), the container-terminal arm of China’s biggest shipping group, gained 1.3 percent in Hong Kong. Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. (011200) advanced 15 percent in Seoul as North and South Korea agreed to resume talks on reopening the Gaeseong industrial complex. Siam Makro Pcl (MAKRO) climbed to a record in Bangkok after profit jumped. South Korea’s won, the Thai baht and China’s yuan appreciated versus the dollar.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index advanced 0.2 percent to 939.89 as of 2:11 p.m. in Hong Kong, the first increase in three days. China’s exports rose 5.1 percent in July from a year earlier, topping the 2 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. Imports jumped 10.9 percent, exceeding the 1 percent median forecast. The figures follow reports last week showing gains in official gauges of manufacturing and services.
“China’s trade data really surprised the market and shows positive signs of economic recovery,” Vorasinee Sangvornvetphan, an investment strategist at Tisco Financial Group Pcl in Bangkok, said by phone. “This should assure investors that China’s economy is on stable pace of rebound, which should help most other emerging markets.”
Gauges of consumer discretionary and industrial stocks in MSCI’s developing-nation index climbed at least 0.5 percent, the most among 10 industry groups. The 21-country measure has dropped 11 percent this year, compared with a 14 percent increase in the MSCI World Index of developed-nation shares.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) of mainland companies traded in Hong Kong added 0.7 percent, the biggest increase in more than two weeks, and the Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) climbed 0.2 percent. The yuan rose 0.05 percent to 6.1164 per dollar, the strongest level since the government unified the official and market exchange rates at the end of 1993.
Thailand’s SET Index (SET) surged 1.4 percent, the most in two weeks, and the baht rose 0.5 percent against the dollar. More than 2,000 people who rallied in Bangkok yesterday to oppose an amnesty bill for political protesters ended the demonstration peacefully, according to police spokesman Piya Uthayo.
Siam Makro, Thailand’s biggest cash-and-carry wholesaler, jumped 28 percent in Bangkok after reporting profit in the second quarter surged 29 percent to 959.2 million baht. CP All Pcl, the largest convenience store, raised its stake in Siam Makro to 98 percent, according to a regulatory filing.
The won rose 0.5 percent against the dollar after the Bank of Korea left its benchmark interest rate unchanged as predicted by all 16 economists in a Bloomberg survey. South Korea’s Kospi Index (KOSPI) added 0.3 percent, the first advance in four days.
The South accepted North Korea’s offer of working-level talks at Gaeseong to be held Aug. 14, Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung Suk told reporters in Seoul. Along with the offer, North Korea said it would send its workers back into Gaeseong.
Exchanges in Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan are closed today.
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