Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index advancing to a seven-month high, as concern eased about a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
China Resources Power Holdings Co. increased 4.9 percent to lead gains on Hong Kong’s benchmark index. KCC Corp. jumped 11 percent in Seoul after Samsung Everland Inc., in which it owns a stake, announced plans for an initial public offering. Daio Paper Corp. slumped 7.1 percent in Tokyo as the maker of packaging materials said it will raise as much as 22.4 billion yen ($219 million) in a share sale.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.4 percent to 143.07 as of 7 p.m. in Hong Kong, reaching its highest level since Oct. 30. Eight of its 10 industry groups climbed. The gauge posted its largest advance in nine months in May as the Japanese yen weakened and speculation mounted that Chinese authorities will step in to boost economic growth.
“We are seeing a bottoming in terms of growth in China,” Sean Fenton, who helps manage about $1 billion in Sydney at Tribeca Investment Partners Ltd., said by phone. “The manufacturing sector is starting to bottom out and there’s some talks of mini stimulus.”
The final reading of a China factory measure for May from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics came in at 49.4, missing economist forecasts for 49.7. That comes two days after a government gauge signaled the fastest growth in five months. Levels below 50 signal contraction in the sector. China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 50.8 in May, the highest level since December and topping the median economist estimate in a Bloomberg survey, a June 1 report showed.
China’s non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 55.5 in May from 54.8 in April, according to data released today by the Beijing-based National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.9 percent and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland shares listed in the city jumped 1.2 percent. China Resources climbed 4.9 percent to HK$21.35. The Shanghai Composite was little changed and Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 0.2 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index increased 0.3 percent, with KCC advancing 11 percent to 660,000 won.
Japan’s Topix index rose 0.7 percent and Taiwan’s Taiex index climbed 0.5 percent. Thailand’s SET Index gained 0.9 percent. India’s BSE S&P Sensex Index added 0.7 percent after the nation’s central bank left interest rates unchanged for a second straight meeting, while signaling it would ease monetary policy if inflation slows faster than anticipated.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.7 percent, maintaining declines after the Reserve Bank kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.3 percent.
China’s economy is projected to grow 7.3 percent this year, which would be the weakest pace pace since 1990, according to analysts surveyed in May. Expansion slowed to 7.4 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, compared with 7.7 percent in the previous period. The government’s target is 7.5 percent.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 0.1 percent today. The gauge yesterday extended a record high, rising 0.1 percent, as the Institute for Supply Management twice corrected the reading in its May U.S. manufacturing index.
The S&P 500 traded at 16.3 times estimated earnings yesterday, compared with 13.1 for the MSCI Asia Pacific Index and 15.4 on the Europe Stoxx 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
China Everbright International Ltd. soared 7 percent to HK$10.56 in Hong Kong after saying it agreed to transfer water-treatment assets to HanKore Environment Tech Group Ltd. for the equivalent of about 5.81 billion yuan ($928 million) in stock.
Among stocks that dropped, Daio Paper slumped 7.1 percent to 1,089 yen, the most since November 2011. The company said it plans to raise 22.4 billion yen ($219 million) by selling shares to the public and to Hokuetsu Kishu Paper Co. Hokuetsu slid 0.6 percent to 500 yen.
Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., controlled by billionaire Lui Che-woo, lost 3.1 percent to HK$60.05 in Hong Kong after Macau casino-revenue growth missed estimates in May. Sands China Ltd., a unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp., retreated 1.4 percent to HK$55.70.