Asian stocks rose as a drop in Chinese industrial profits increased pressure on Premier Wen Jiabao to step up measures to support growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd., the country’s biggest developer by market value listed in Hong Kong, rose 1.4 percent. Renesas Electronics Corp. advanced 1.3 percent after Kyodo reported a government-backed counter offer for the Japanese chipmaker may be double KKR & Co.’s bid. Nitori Holdings Co. fell 8.6 percent in Tokyo after the furniture retailer reported profit that missed estimates.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.8 percent to 122.48 as of 6:27 p.m. in Tokyo. More than two stocks advanced for each that fell. The gauge climbed 4.5 percent this quarter as central banks in Europe, the U.S., Japan and China took action to stimulate economic growth.
“The positive would be a big China stimulus package that could send markets higher,” said Andrew Pease, Sydney-based chief investment strategist at Russell Investment Group, which manages about $150 billion. “The signals are that they are not really itching to do that. There’s some evidence in the data that we’ll start to see stabilization in economic growth by the end of this year. The risk would be that the Chinese data continues to weaken into the end of the year and the first quarter of 2013.”
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.1 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite surged 2.6 percent as the National Bureau of Statistics said in Beijing that profit at Chinese industrial companies dropped a fifth month in August. Today’s report may increase pressure on Wen to step up easing measures as concern mounts that yearly growth will be the weakest in 22 years.
Chinese developers trading in Hong Kong advanced. China Overseas Land & Investment gained 1.4 percent to HK$19.46, while state-owned China Resources Land Ltd. rose 1.8 percent to HK$17.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index both gained 0.5 percent. South Korea’s Kospi Index rose 0.4 percent, Singapore’s Straits Times climbed 0.4 percent and Taiwan’s Taiex increased 0.2 percent.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.4 percent today. The U.S. gauge dropped 0.6 percent yesterday, for its longest retreat since July, amid concern that Europe’s debt crisis is worsening and global growth is slowing.
Asia’s benchmark index earlier declined 0.2 percent as data from the U.S. to Italy added to concern that global economic growth is waning and Spanish borrowing costs soared amid violent protests against austerity measures.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 7.6 percent this year compared with a 14 percent gain on the S&P 500 and an 11 percent advance on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. The Asian benchmark traded at 12.7 times estimated earnings compared with 13.9 for the S&P 500 and 12 for the Stoxx Europe 600.
Renesas climbed 1.3 percent to 311 yen after Kyodo News reported a Japanese state-backed fund and a group of companies may invest about 200 billion yen ($2.6 billion) in the unprofitable chipmaker.
Among declining shares, Nitori lost 8.6 percent to 7,460 yen as it reported operating profit for the first half that missed analyst estimates.