Japan Radio Co. jumped 12 percent after profit at the maker of communications equipment surged. SK C&C Co. (034730) climbed 5.2 percent in Seoul as earnings topped forecasts at the provider of information technology services. Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. dropped 7.6 percent as casino operators plunged on a report Macau is facing a capital-flight crackdown amid concerns that illicit funds are being funneled from the mainland into casinos.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.6 percent to 137.65 at 5:39 p.m. in Hong Kong as nine of its 10 industry groups rose. Yellen told U.S. lawmakers the economic stimulus that has fueled global asset gains is still required because employment and inflation are well short of the central bank’s goals. China’s exports and imports unexpectedly rose in April, helping leaders put a floor under a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy.
“Primarily we are looking at an improvement” in the Chinese trade data, Hao Hong, Hong Kong-based chief China equity strategist at Bocom International Holdings Co., told Bloomberg TV. “For the time being, we don’t have to worry about tightening liquidity in the economy. The trade surplus is going up in the right direction.”
Japan’s Topix index climbed 0.7 percent. Japan Radio jumped 12 percent to 454 yen. Mitsubishi Corp. soared 6.5 percent to 1,938 yen after the trading house’s earnings topped estimates and it said it will buy back stock.
South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.6 percent as SK C&C gained 5.2 percent to 150,500 won. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.8 percent, maintaining gains after a report showed employers in the country added 14,200 workers in April. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slid 0.5 percent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) climbed 0.4 percent and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland shares traded in the city jumped 0.8 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3 percent. Chinese exports rose 0.9 percent in April from a year earlier, beating estimates for a 3 percent decline after a 6.6 percent contraction in March. Imports grew 0.8 percent last month.
Galaxy Entertainment sank 7.6 percent to HK$55.40, while Wynn Macau Ltd. declined 8.5 percent to HK$28.50. Macau is facing a cash-card crackdown on concern that tens of billions of yuan are being funneled into casinos in contravention of national currency controls, the South China Morning Post reported today, citing unidentified gaming and security sources.
Vietnam’s VN Index tumbled 5.9 percent, its biggest retreat since 2001. The benchmark gauge has dropped 13 percent from this year’s peak on March 24 amid growing tension with China over disputed waters and speculation that leveraged traders are liquidating positions.
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