Asian stocks advanced for a second day, with News Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. lifting the regional benchmark index on earnings that cheered investors, as U.S. President Barack Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney to win a second term.
News Corp., the media company run by billionaire Rupert Murdoch, gained 3.2 percent in Sydney after reporting profit that topped estimates. Nissan surged 4.1 percent after analysts said its earnings forecast was conservative and Chinese customers are returning to the carmaker’s dealerships. Zijin Mining Group Co. climbed 6.2 percent in Hong Kong, pacing gains among gold producers as the precious metal rose on speculation the U.S. will continue monetary easing after Obama’s victory.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.7 percent to 123.24 as of 7:47 p.m. in Tokyo, with three shares rising for every two that fell. Obama’s re-election comes on the eve of a leadership transition in China. The Communist Party begins its 18th Congress in Beijing tomorrow, with delegates meeting over several days to pick a new leader. Xi Jinping will probably replace Hu Jintao as general secretary of the party.
“Looks like Obama’s won it,” said George Boubouras, Melbourne-based head of investment strategy at UBS AG’s Australian wealth management unit. The Swiss bank has about $1.5 trillion. “The certainty is a welcome sign for markets. You have the two biggest economies in the world going through their own versions of leadership change this week so the political cycle will still dominate a little bit more in the short term.”
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 12 percent through yesterday from this year’s low on June 4 as central banks added stimulus amid a slowdown in global economic growth and the European debt crisis. Shares on the measure trade at 13.4 times average estimated earnings, compared with 13.7 for the S&P 500 and 12.3 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.5 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.7 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.7 percent, erasing losses of as much as 0.6 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index and Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average were both little changed.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.2 percent today, reversing losses of as much as 1 percent. Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney, winning at least 303 electoral votes in yesterday’s election with 270 needed for the victory. With one state -- Florida -- yet to be decided, Romney had 206 electoral votes.
News Corp. advanced 3.2 percent to A$24.10. Fiscal first-quarter net income rose to $2.23 billion from $738 million a year earlier, with the media company posting profit gains at its cable-network unit, Twentieth Century Fox studio and broadcast-TV operations.
Nissan surged 4.1 percent to 705 yen as the biggest Japanese carmaker in China by sales said orders and showroom visits have rebounded following violent protests in several cities. China is Nissan’s largest market.
Gold stocks gained as the precious metal climbed amid speculation the Federal Reserve will extend stimulus measures to boost economic growth, with shares extending gains after Obama’s won re-election.
Zijin Mining, China’s biggest gold producer, jumped 6.2 percent to HK$3.27 in Hong Kong. Zhaojin Mining Industry Ltd. advanced 6.2 percent to HK$13.70. Newcrest Mining Ltd. added 2.3 percent to A$26.70.
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. gained 1.9 percent to HK$132.10 after the world’s second-biggest bourse by market value posted third-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates.
Esprit Holdings Ltd. rose 5.5 percent to HK$11.48 as rights shares issued at HK$8 apiece began trading today. The apparel maker last month announced plans to raise HK$5.2 billion ($671 million) to help revive its brand after reporting a first-quarter sales drop.
Largan Precision Co., a supplier of lens to Apple Inc. jumped 7 percent to NT$690 in Taipei. Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its rating on the stock to outperform from neutral, saying sales will remain strong through the end of this year on demand for iPhone 5.
Among declining shares, Taiyo Yuden Co. slid 2.8 percent to 623 yen after the Japanese electronics maker cuts its full-year profit forecast to break-even from a previous estimate of 5.5 billion yen ($69 million).
Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. retreated 2.2 percent to A$1.81 as Australia’s largest electrical-goods retailer said first-quarter earnings probably fell about 20 percent as it closed stores and sales dropped 10 percent.