Asian stocks rose, with the benchmark index poised to snap six days of losses, on speculation policy makers will do more to support growth after China reported the slowest expansion in three years, South Korea cut its outlook and Singapore said its economy shrunk.
Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s biggest carmaker, rose 3.4 percent after workers agreed to resume wage negotiations, averting a threatened a strike. Belle International Holdings Ltd., a women’s shoe retailer that gets most of its revenue from China, climbed 4 percent in Hong Kong after reporting sales jumped. Dentsu Inc., a Japanese advertising company, sank 7 percent after agreeing to buy Britain’s Aegis Group Plc. Chinese airlines advanced after the Shanghai Daily reported the government may set up investment companies to buy airline stakes
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.4 percent to 115.17 as of 7:09 p.m. in Tokyo, paring its weekly loss to 2.9 percent, the biggest drop since May. About five shares gained for every four that fell on the gauge after China said gross domestic product expanded 7.6 percent the three months through June 30, slower than the 7.7 percent median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg and the weakest pace since 2009.
“The markets had been fearing a worse number,” said Khiem Do, Hong Kong-based head of Asian multi-asset strategy at Baring Asset Management (Asia) Ltd., which oversees about $8 billion. “We’ve been selling this week. Given it’s the end of the week and you don’t know what the policy makers will do over the weekend, you might as well square up a little bit. Asia is slowing and it’s not leading by example.”
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 11 percent from this year’s high on Feb. 29 through yesterday as Europe’s debt crisis weighed on growth and corporate earnings. Shares in the measure are valued at 11.7 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 12.8 times for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 10.6 times for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index was little changed, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 0.4 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index increased 0.8 percent even after a report showed the city state’s economy contracted last quarter.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 0.1 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index increased 0.4 percent. South Korea’s Kospi Index rose 1.5 percent.
Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent today. The equity gauge fell 0.5 percent in New York yesterday, dropping for a sixth day, the longest losing streak since May 18, on concern the global slowdown will affect earnings.
South Korea’s economy will expand 3 percent this year, the central bank said today in a statement, down from a projection of 3.5 percent growth made in April and 3.7 percent in December.
Singapore’s gross domestic product shrank an annualized 1.1 percent in the three months through June from the previous quarter, the Trade Ministry said today. The average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News survey had been for a 0.6 percent expansion.
Hyundai Motor rose 3.4 percent to 226,000 won in Seoul. Its union, which ended discussions with management June 28, has agreed to resume negotiations, according to the union spokesman, and the company. That helped raise optimism carmaker will avert prolonged work stoppages that would damage earnings.
Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., whose chairmen were arrested in March in connection to a graft investigation, was suspended from trading in Hong Kong. Thomas and Raymond Kwok, along with the city’s former No.2 government official, were charged with bribery and public misconduct by the city’s anti-graft agency.
Belle International climbed 4 percent to HK$13.62 after saying its footwear business’s same-store sales growth rose 11 percent in the second quarter, while its sportswear revenue increased 5 percent.
China Southern Airlines Co., the nation’s leading carrier by passengers, surged 8.4 percent to HK$3.74. AviChina Industry & Technology Co., an aviation tools maker, soared 10 percent to HK$2.71.
China will increase investments in the nation’s aviation industry and ease some taxes, the State Council said yesterday in a statement on its website.
Dentsu declined 7 percent to 2,145 yen in Tokyo, the biggest decline since March 2011. The company’s shares fell after agreeing to buy Aegis Group for 3.16 billion-pound ($4.9 billion), the biggest transaction in the advertising agency’s 111-year history.