Asian Stocks Follow U.S. Equities Higher as Energy Shares Climb

Asian stocks rose, led by energy shares, following a rally in U.S. equities as investors sifted through the latest data on the world’s biggest economy before the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates.

Cnooc Ltd., China’s biggest offshore oil producer, gained 1.5 percent in Hong Kong as crude futures advanced. Sony Corp. rose 1.2 percent in Tokyo after the electronics maker said it’s cutting the Japanese price of its PlayStation 4 to maintain a sales lead through the year-end holiday shopping season. Samsung Heavy Industries Co., the world’s third-largest shipyard, surged 11 percent in Seoul on expectations that it would try again to merge with Samsung Engineering Co.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 1.5 percent to 128.56 as of 4:01 p.m. in Hong Kong. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 1.3 percent on Tuesday as a report showed U.S. retail sales climbed for a second straight month, a sign shoppers may be looking past recent volatility in financial markets. The Fed is about to decide whether the economy can withstand higher borrowing costs, with odds on a rate hike on Thursday climbing to 32 percent from 28 percent a week ago. That’s still down from more than 50 percent before China roiled global markets by devaluing the yuan.

“Uncertainty will continue until we get the news from the Fed,” said James Lindsay, who helps manage the equivalent of about $3 billion in assets at Nikko Asset Management NZ Ltd. in Auckland. “The market is finely balanced on whether the Fed will move or not. There’s been uncertainties about China and global growth, but the U.S. economy looks strong enough to be able to withstand an increase in rates.”

China Surge

Chinese equities surged in the last hour of trading, with the Shanghai Composite Index jumping 4.9 percent, a pattern that’s become associated with state support. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland stocks traded in Hong Kong advanced 2.1 percent, while the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 2.4 percent.

“I suspect state support may be behind the sharp rally in the final hour,” said Bernard Aw, a strategist at IG Asia Pte in Singapore. “This is huge, even if the positive mood from the U.S. session helped boost risk appetite.”

Japan’s Topix index rose 0.7 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index increased 2 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex index climbed 0.9 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index advanced 1.4 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 1.6 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.3 percent.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.2 percent.

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