Asian stocks rose in September, with the benchmark index heading for its biggest gain in three years, as the Federal Reserve unexpectedly maintained stimulus and data signaled China’s economy is strengthening.
Tencent Holdings Ltd., Asia’s biggest Internet company, gained 11 percent in Hong Kong this month to touch a record high. Tokyo Electron Ltd. surged 31 percent after Applied Materials Inc. announced a plan to take over the Tokyo-based company. Acom Co. soared 49 percent, spurring the consumer lender to the biggest gain on the Asian equities index, after a report Japan’s non-bank loans to individuals are picking up.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index surged 7.5 percent this month through yesterday, the most since September 2010. The gauge rose 0.1 percent this week. The Federal Open Market Committee said on Sept. 18 that it wants more evidence that improvement in the U.S. economy will be sustained before slowing the pace of its $85 billion in monthly asset purchases.
“After the FOMC meeting, investors saw that the Fed was more dovish than they expected, so the rebound was huge,” Grace Tam, a Hong Kong-based global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, which oversees about $1.5 trillion, said in a phone interview. “People were too bearish on China, and are now starting to feel some relief. If China is doing good, it helps the rest of Asia.”
Profits at China’s industrial companies rose 24 percent in August, data yesterday showed. A preliminary HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics’ purchasing managers index for China released on Sept. 23 rose to 51.2, a six-month high.
Japan’s Topix index gained 10 percent in September, rising for the first month in five, as Tokyo won a bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games. The measure fell 0.1 percent this week.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) gained 3.4 percent this month and climbed 0.6 percent since Sept 20. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 5.3 percent in September.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 6.8 percent this month and China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.9 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 6 percent.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index touched a four-month high on Sept. 23 after the Fed announcement and has jumped 7.6 percent this quarter.
Analysts had predicted a $5 billion reduction in Fed stimulus this month, estimates compiled by Bloomberg show. Tapering may begin later this year should the data confirm the Fed’s “basic outlook,” Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said.
BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, advanced 1.7 percent this month. Toyota Motor Corp., Asia’s largest carmaker, gained 8.4 percent.
Tencent, which gets 95 percent of its sales from mainland China, has advanced 11 percent in September to HK$417.8. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the nation’s biggest lender, added 6.1 percent to HK$5.54. China Resources Land Ltd., the second-largest mainland developer traded in Hong Kong, gained 3.3 percent.
A pickup in China’s growth may boost Premier Li Keqiang’s odds of meeting this year’s 7.5 percent expansion goal. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have all raised economic growth projections for the world’s second-biggest economy.
In Japan, Tokyo Electron surged after Applied Materials, the largest supplier of chipmaking equipment, agreed to buy it for $9.39 billion in stock in the largest foreign acquisition of a Japanese company in six years.
Acom, Japan’s second-biggest consumer lender by market value, surged 49 percent to 367 yen this month. Aiful Corp. jumped 27 percent to 515 yen and Credit Saison Co. leapt 21 percent to 2,736 yen.
Non-bank loans to individuals are recovering, while credit card usage is also on the rise, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Sept. 2. The lending deposit at the nation’s consumer lenders may gain for the first time in eight years, the report said.
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