Asian Stocks Follow U.S. Shares Higher Amid Optimism on Greece

Updated on

Asian stocks rose for a second day, following U.S. shares higher amid optimism progress is being made in Greece’s debt talks.

Nippon Sheet Glass Co., which gets nearly 40 percent of sales from Europe, added 1.5 percent in Tokyo. Don Quijote Holdings Co. jumped 7 percent, the most in two years, after the Japanese discount-store operator increased its dividend forecast. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., the world’s fourth-largest iron ore supplier, gained 6.4 percent in Sydney after larger Vale SA predicted China will import more of the raw material in the second half.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.5 percent to 147.69 as of 4:01 p.m. in Hong Kong. Speculation increased that the standoff over Greece will reach a favorable resolution as the European Central Bank raised the level of emergency cash available to the country’s banks by 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion). Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras heads into talks with his country’s creditors on Thursday after promising Germany and France that he will step up efforts to find a formula that can release financial aid.

“We’re coming to a stage where a decision has to be made on Greece,” Matthew Sherwood, head of investment markets research in Sydney at Perpetual Ltd., which manages about $21 billion, said by phone. “Markets are on edge, hoping that some stop-gap measure could be agreed. We could see a continued selloff in equities if Greece defaults.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday her goal is “to keep Greece in the euro area.” Germany may be satisfied with Greece committing to at least one economic reform sought by creditors to open the door to bailout funds, according to two people familiar with the country’s position. A government spokesman later denied that Germany is considering such a deal.

Rate Cuts

Japan’s Topix index gained 1.3 percent, the most since April 21, as exporters advanced. The yen fell as much as 0.6 percent to 123.39 per dollar after jumping 1.4 percent Wednesday after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said it was hard to see further weakening of the currency.

New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index jumped 0.9 percent. The nation’s central bank lowered interest rates for the first time in four years and signaled another cut may be appropriate to boost inflation as growth slows.

South Korea’s Kospi index climbed 0.3 percent. The country’s central bank cut its key interest rate to an unprecedented low as the spread of Middle East respiratory syndrome risks derailing an economic recovery.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 1.4 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex index was little changed. Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.9 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.8 percent as authorities said there were no confirmed cases of MERS in the city.

China Gains

The Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.3 percent higher, after changing direction almost 20 times. China’s industrial production gained momentum in May while growth in retail sales kept pace with the previous month, showing signs of stabilization in the world’s second-biggest economy.

E-mini futures on the S&P 500 lost 0.1 percent today after the underlying equity index climbed 1.2 percent on Wednesday.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE