Asian Stocks Rebound to 2008 High as Energy Shares Lead Gains

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Asian stocks rose, with the regional gauge rebounding to its highest since May 2008, as energy producers led gains after oil traded near its highest price this year.

PetroChina Co. jumped 4 percent in Hong Kong. Sharp Corp. surged 4.5 percent in Tokyo after a report the electronics company is meeting lenders to negotiate a debt-for-equity swap. Haier Electronics Group Co. slumped 6.8 percent in Hong Kong after Carlyle Group LP sold 140 million shares in the consumer electronics company at a discount.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 1.1 percent to 154.26 as of 4:07 p.m. in Hong Kong. The 14-day Relative Strength Index on the Asian regional index was at 77 today, trading for a seventh day above 70, a level some traders take as a signal stocks are poised to drop.

“A lot of funds having been underweight and hence will have to pay catch-up” with the recent gains in regional benchmarks, said Andrew Sullivan, head of sales trading at Haitong International Securities Group in Hong Kong. “Some people have been so bearish that they can’t believe things can turn positive.”

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, among the world’s biggest advancers this month, added 0.4 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.7 percent, taking its 12-month surge to 99 percent and closing at a seven-year high.

Japan’s Topix index and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.7 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index climbed 0.4 percent and South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.9 percent.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost less than 0.1 percent. The underlying gauge rose 0.5 percent on Wednesday in New York, to within 0.5 percent of its record, as Intel Corp. climbed and energy companies rallied with oil reaching a 2015 high.

U.S. Data

U.S. industrial output slipped more than economists had projected in March, with the Federal Reserve examining data to determine the best time to raise benchmark borrowing costs.

The central bank won’t move to raise rates until December, according to a Morgan Stanley index. A month ago, traders were pricing in an increase in September, the gauge showed.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said that while rates will probably rise this year, any decision depends on economic data, with recent releases missing projections by the most in six years.

Oil traded near the highest price this year amid speculation a slowdown in the U.S. shale boom will ease the biggest supply glut since 1930. West Texas Intermediate for May delivery rose $3.10 to $56.39 on Wednesday, the highest close since December.

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