March 2 (Bloomberg) -- Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. led gains among shipping lines in Tokyo trading as container freight rates on Asia to Europe routes more than doubled.
Kawasaki Kisen jumped as much as 6.4 percent, the biggest intraday gain in two weeks, to 182 yen, before trading at 177 yen as of 10 a.m. local time. Rates for cargo between Asia and Europe jumped 114 percent this week, according to estimates by Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd.
Japanese shipping lines including Kawasaki, the nation’s third-biggest carrier, are benefiting from higher rates after trimming services and forming alliances to cut costs. A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, owner of the world’s largest container line, said Feb. 17 it will reduce Asia-Europe capacity by 9 percent after a glut of vessels and slowing demand caused rates to tumble.
“Sustained rate hikes through May should support share prices in the near term,” Masaharu Hirokane, an analyst at Nomura Securities Co., wrote in a note to clients dated today. He rates Kawasaki Kisen shares “neutral,” and has “buy” recommendations larger rivals Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Nippon Yusen KK.
The World Container Index’s subcomponent for freight rates on Shanghai to Rotterdam trade rose to $2,732 per 40-foot container yesterday from $1,276 a week earlier, Drewry said by e-mail. The index is developed by London-based Drewry and the Cleartrade Exchange.
Nippon Yusen rose as much as 3.8 percent and was trading 2.5 percent higher as of 10 a.m. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines gained as much as 3.3 percent.
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