Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index heading for a two-week high, as a weaker yen buoyed Japanese equities and phone carriers advanced.
Sony Corp., the maker of Bravia televisions and PlayStation game consoles, added 1.8 percent. Japan Airlines Co. climbed 2.3 percent and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. jumped 4.4 percent on the outlook for lower fuel costs. China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. jumped 5.9 percent after adding more users on its high-speed mobile network. Infosys Ltd. surged 12 percent after India’s no. 2 outsourcing company raised its sales forecast.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.5 percent to 144.99 as of 4:20 p.m. in Hong Kong, heading for its highest close since July 3. The Topix index climbed 0.7 percent, adding to last week’s gains of 5 percent, the best weekly performance since October. The yen traded at 124.28 per dollar, near a six-week low. Crude oil held losses after dropping below $50 a barrel for the first time since April.
“The weaker yen and cheaper oil will have a positive effect on Japanese stocks,” Toshihiko Matsuno, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities Co. in Tokyo, said by phone. “Cheaper oil prices have led to lackluster moves in commodity-related shares in the global market, but cheaper commodities have come in tandem with a stronger dollar.”
South Korea’s Kospi index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index each increased 0.5 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex index gained 0.3 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.4 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index climbed 0.3 percent, while Singapore’s Straits Times Index was little changed.
The Shanghai Composite Index advanced for a fourth day, finishing above 4,000 for the first time since July 1 and capping its longest stretch of gains since May. Smaller companies extended a bull-market rally and speculation grew the government’s market-support measures have contained excessive price swings.
“The 4,000 level is a key battlefield for bulls and bears,” said Li Jingyuan, general manager of the securities investment department at Shanghai Zhaoyi Asset Management. “Once the psychological level is breached, investors will probably pile in again as they view that as a breakthrough of major resistance.”
The benchmark gauge has rebounded 15 percent since July 8, following a month-long rout that cost shareholders almost $4 trillion, as policy makers introduced a spate of measures to bolster equities. The Shanghai index on Monday posted the smallest price swings since the rout began.
E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed Tuesday. The U.S. equity benchmark index added 0.1 percent on Monday in New York as the Nasdaq Composite Index extended its record.
Greece met a deadline to pay some 6.8 billion euros ($7.4 billion) to creditors Monday, as depositors queued at reopened banks in the first signs of normality after last week’s bailout deal.