Asian stocks gained for a third day after a gauge of China’s manufacturing rose to a 16-month high, boosting investor confidence in the global economic recovery.
Fanuc Corp., a maker of controls to run machine tools that earns 72 percent of its revenue in Asia, climbed 2.7 percent. Billabong International Ltd. surged 14 percent after the Australian surfwear company said Coastal Capital International Ltd. is seeking a board shakeup. Everbright Securities Co. slumped by as much as the 10 percent daily limit in Shanghai as the company that roiled China’s equity market two weeks ago with errant trades said two executives resigned amid record penalties imposed by regulators after an investigation.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.5 percent to 130.88 as of 4:34 p.m. in Hong Kong. About two shares climbed for each that declined. The measure fell 1.6 percent in August, the third drop in four months. The gauge rose 0.6 percent this year through Aug. 30, lagging a 15 percent surge in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index as investors sold assets across the region on expectations the Federal Reserve will taper U.S. economic stimulus this month.
“Growth expectations globally continue to improve,” Michael Kurtz, Hong Kong-based chief global equity strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest brokerage, said in an e-mail. “An ongoing rebalancing in China keeps growth there largely on a moderating trend.”
Japan’s Topix index rose 1.1 percent as the yen fell 1.2 percent to 99.33 per dollar. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 1 percent to close at the highest level in three months. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 1.2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 2 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite Index was little changed. Singapore’s Straits Times Index added 0.8 percent and Taiwan’s Taiex Index rose 0.2 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index slid 0.1 percent.
China’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, the official government measure of factory output, rose to 51 in August, beating the median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey and rising from 50.3 in July. HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics issued the final reading of a separate private gauge today that confirmed initial figures showing the biggest jump in three years for China.
Expanding Chinese manufacturing may bolster confidence that the economy is responding to Premier Li Keqiang’s policies to support growth amid a crackdown on shadow banking aimed at curbing financial risks. JPMorgan Chase & Co. yesterday joined Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Suisse Group AG in raising estimates for an increase in Chinese gross domestic product, citing strength in infrastructure and real estate plus a pickup in exports.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index dropped 1.9 percent last month as concern that Fed stimulus tapering will reduce inflows into developing nations was exacerbated by the threat of an attack on Syria and signs of slowing growth from India to Indonesia. Indonesia’s Jakarta Stock Exchange Composite Index slumped 9 percent in August and Thailand’s SET Index tumbled 9.1 percent.
“One of the areas that has been showing great stability is north Asia,” Timothy Riddell, Singapore-based head of Asian global markets research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, told Bloomberg TV. “That’s one of the bright spots. This is a reason to stabilize the pessimism on other areas within Asia.”
U.S. employers probably added more workers in August and the jobless rate held at the lowest level in more than four years, signaling a strengthening labor market that will help sustain growth, economists said before Labor Department figures due Sept. 6. Payrolls rose by 180,000 following a 162,000 gain in July, according to the median forecast of 71 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Japan’s Topix index climbed 30 percent in 2013, the best performing among 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg, amid optimism Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan can lead the country out of deflation through unprecedented monetary easing and regulatory reforms.
Futures on the S&P 500 climbed 1 percent today. The gauge fell 0.3 percent Aug. 30, capping its worst monthly drop since May 2012 as investors weighed the prospects for American military action against Syria and disappointing data on consumer spending. U.S. markets are closed today for the Labor Day holiday.
Japanese exporters gained as the yen weakened. Fanuc rose 2.7 percent to 15,420 yen. Renesas Electronics Corp., a chipmaker that gets about 46 percent of sales overseas, added 1.1 percent to 377 yen. Toyota Motor Corp., Asia’s largest carmaker, climbed 1 percent to 6,000 yen.
Billabong surged 14 percent to 48.5 Australian cents. The firm that’s already fielded five takeover and refinancing proposals since February 2012 said Coastal Capital, which has a 5 percent stake in the surfwear company, is seeking a board shakeup.
China Minzhong Food Corp., the vegetable producer that had slumped after allegations by a short-seller, more than doubled to S$1.12 in Singapore after PT Indofood Sukses Makmur, the largest shareholder, offered S$488 million ($383 million) cash for the rest of the company. Indofood tumbled 9.2 percent to 5,900 rupiah in Jakarta.
Everbright slumped 8.5 percent to 9.21 yuan in Shanghai, after earlier dropping by the 10 percent daily limit. The 23.4 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) of erroneous stock purchase orders that roiled China’s markets on Aug. 16, and later trades to offset the mistake, led to Everbright being barred from most proprietary trading, lifetime bans from the securities market for four executives and the resignation of the president.
HTC Corp. lost 5.8 percent to NT$147.50 in Taipei as five employees were detained by Taiwan authorities after the smartphone maker alleged that some of its trade secrets were breached.