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Emerging Stocks Advance to 3-Week High on Manufacturing

Emerging-market stocks rose to a three-week high after the pace of manufacturing picked up in China last month, boosting Asian information and technology companies, and Brazil’s Bovespa erased earlier losses.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index climbed 0.4 percent to 1,029.83 as of 4:30 p.m. in New York. Asustek Computer Inc. rallied to the highest level since May 2008 in Taiwan. OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA rose the most in a week in Sao Paulo after its founder, billionaire Eike Batista, said he’s considering selling another stake in his EBX Group. Brazil’s Bovespa added 1 percent, paring earlier losses of as much as 0.4 percent.

The final reading of Chinese manufacturing data from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics rose to 49.3 today from a preliminary 49.1 reported April 23 and a final 48.3 in March, signaling that a rebound in the world’s second-biggest economy may help to offset constraints on global growth from austerity measures in Europe. In the U.S., the Institute for Supply Management’s factory index climbed to 54.8 in April from 53.4 a month earlier.

“There is very little going on right now outside of China,” John-Paul Smith, emerging market strategist at Deutsche Bank AG, said by phone from London today. “The focus is there because of the data about the Chinese economy.”

Markets in Brazil, Mexico, China and Russia were closed yesterday for the May 1 holiday.

The developing-nations gauge has added 12 percent this year and trades at 10.6 times estimated profit, which compares with a multiple of 12.5 times for the MSCI World Index of advanced countries, which has gained 9.1 percent in 2012.

Euro PMI, U.S. ADP

A factory gauge based on a survey of euro-region purchasing managers slipped to 45.9 from 47.7 in March, London-based Markit Economics said today. That’s the lowest in 34 months and compares with an estimate of 46 published on April 23. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.

Companies in the U.S. added 119,000 jobs in April, the fewest in seven months, according to Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP Employer Services. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 170,000 advance.

“The dismal European PMI and ADP numbers out of the States aggravate concerns about developed world growth,” John Lomax, emerging market strategist at HSCB Securities Inc., said by phone from London today. “You need to see those nations move ahead for emerging-market stocks to move higher.”

The BUX Index retreated 1.1 percent in Budapest, with four companies advancing and seven retreating. Hungary prepared to start negotiations on a credit line from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.

The WIG20 Index fell 0.7 percent, the most in a week, in Warsaw while the FTSE/JSE Africa All Shares Index gained 0.2 percent in Johannesburg.

Brazil, Mexico

The IShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index exchange-traded fund, the most-traded ETF to track developing-nation shares, fell 0.2 percent to $42.42 in New York.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Emerging Markets ETF Volatility Index, a gauge of options prices on the fund and expectations of price swings, fell 0.1 percent to 24.43.

OGX advanced 5.8 percent after Batista said he might sell another stake in his EBX Group. MRV Engenharia e Participacoes SA surged 5 percent, the most in two weeks, after BTG Pactual added the Brazilian developer to its “10 stock ideas for the month.”

Mexico’s benchmark IPC index rose 0.3 percent as Urbi Desarrollos Urbanos SAB de CV surged 7.7 percent after reporting first-quarter net income of 567 million pesos ($44 million.)

Novatek, Mechel

Russia’s Micex Index dropped 1.9 percent to the lowest level since January as OAO Novatek, the country’s second-largest natural-gas producer, fell the most since February 2009. Shares of the company sank 10 percent on concern the government may increase the mineral extraction tax for independent natural-gas producers.

OAO Mechel, based in Moscow, declined 6.1 percent to the lowest level since July 2009. The company said yesterday it would delay its 2011 financial results until after it talks with creditors. Mobile TeleSystems climbed 2 percent to a nine-month high to lead gains in Moscow.

The XU100 Index fell to the lowest level since Feb. 27 in Istanbul. Turkey’s benchmark gauge declined 1.8 percent after Standard & Poor’s cut its outlook for the country’s long-term foreign and local currency debt ratings to stable from positive yesterday. Haci Omer Sabanci Holding AS, Turkey’s second-largest conglomerate, fell 3.8 percent in Istanbul.

Asustek Computer

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of Chinese stocks listed in Hong Kong rose 0.6 percent. China Construction Bank Corp. rose 2 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.8 percent, the most in two weeks.

Taiwan’s Taiex Index gained 2.3 percent after the government said today it decided to postpone electricity price increases to June 10 from the initial May 15 date. Asustek rallied 6.9 percent after reporting first-quarter net income of NT$5 billion ($171 million), 28 percent higher than estimated by analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

The Kospi Index advanced 0.9 percent in Seoul. OCI Co., South Korea’s biggest maker of polysilicon for solar cells, surged 9.1 percent, the most since Jan. 12, after El Pais newspaper reported the European Union is working on a 200 billion-euro ($263 billion) investment package in infrastructure renewable energy and technology in the euro-area’s worst-hit countries.

Samsung Electronics Co., South Korea’s largest exporter of consumer electronics, added 1.4 percent.

The extra yield investors demand to own emerging-market debt over U.S. Treasuries fell two basis points, or 0.2 percentage points, to 342 basis points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Index.

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