Asian stocks climbed, led by Japanese shares, amid speculation the nation’s government will study a corporate tax cut and advise public pension funds to hold more risky assets.
Honda Motor Co. climbed 1.4 percent in Tokyo, recovering from an earlier decline, as the yen weakened against the dollar for the first time in five days. Finsoft Corp., a trading-software maker, surged 538 percent on its trading debut in Hong Kong. Advantest Corp., which makes semiconductor testing devices, slid 3.2 percent after forecasting a loss.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2 percent to 140.6 at 9:29 p.m. in Hong Kong after earlier declining as much as 0.7 percent. The equity benchmark has climbed 8 percent this month, touching a four-month high on Sept. 23. Japan’s Topix index reversed losses of as much as 1.6 percent after Kyodo News reported the government plans to start a study on reducing the tax rate paid by businesses. Some 975 of the 1,745 companies in the gauge traded without the right to the latest dividend today.
“The market is getting a boost from the report on the corporate tax rate cut and optimism the Government Pension Investment Fund may boost shares in its portfolio,” said Kuninobu Takeuchi, Tokyo-based executive portfolio manager at DIAM Co., which oversees more than $124 billion in assets globally. “What’s kept a lid on the market, though, is the ex-dividend situation and poor U.S. market conditions.”
The Topix climbed 0.8 percent to a two-month high, while the Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 1.2 percent. A group of Japanese economists delivered its recommendations for the world’s largest pension fund after markets closed in Tokyo. The panel said the Government Pension Investment Fund should review its holdings of domestic bonds.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.4 percent, Taiwan’s Taiex Index lost 1.2 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite declined 1.9 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.4 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.4 percent and South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.5 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 0.4 percent. The equity benchmark yesterday completed its longest slump this year as Wal-Mart retreated and concern grew that a political showdown over government spending poses a threat to growth in the world’s largest economy.
Japan’s Topix has climbed 10 percent this month, extending its surge this year to 42 percent, the biggest gain 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 monetary easing.
Exporters climbed today in Japan as the yen fell 0.5 percent to 98.94 per dollar. Honda gained 1.4 percent to 3,870 yen and Mazda Motor Corp. advanced 2.3 percent to 445 yen. Canon Inc., a camera maker that gets 79 percent of sales outside Japan, climbed 1.4 percent to 3,175 yen.
Finsoft surged 538 percent to HK$5.23.
Nitto Denko Corp. slumped 10 percent to 6,710 yen as BNP Paribas SA advised selling shares of the materials manufacturer, saying the surge since the announcement of its inclusion in the Nikkei 225 Stock Average was overdone.
Advantest retreated 3.2 percent to 1,197 yen after projecting a 2.5 billion-yen ($25 million) loss.
Li & Fung Ltd., which gets 12 percent of sales from Wal-Mart Stores Inc., declined 3.1 percent to HK$11.42. Wal-Mart is cutting orders it places with suppliers this quarter and next to address rising inventory the company flagged in last month’s earnings report.