Asian stocks climbed, with the regional benchmark index heading for its highest close in six weeks, as energy shares advanced with oil headed for its longest rally in almost six months and Samsung Electronics Co. rallied after quarterly profit topped estimates.
Santos Ltd. jumped 12 percent in Sydney, leading gains among energy explorers. Samsung Electronics jumped 8.7 percent in Seoul after higher sales of chips and screen boosted earnings. Yamada Denki Co. surged 6.6 percent in Tokyo after Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. raised its rating on the Japanese electronics retailer.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 2.1 percent to 131.73 as of 4:16 p.m. in Hong Kong, heading for its highest close since Aug. 20. Samsung Electronics provided the biggest boost to the regional gauge as a weaker South Korean currency boosted the company’s component revenue and blunted the impact of price cuts on Galaxy smartphones. Crude rose as much as 2.4 percent on Wednesday, extending gains for a fourth day as U.S. industry data showed oil stockpiles fell in the world’s biggest consumer.
“The market got a kicker today given the big move in oil we saw last night,” Tony Farnham, a Sydney-based strategist at Patersons Securities, said by phone. “The big question is whether this rally is sustainable. We’ve got to have the fundamentals underlying the rally. The IMF has downgraded global growth a bit more, that indicates there’s not going to be a massive uptick in demand for commodities.”
Global stocks have rallied in the days after capping their worst quarter since 2011 amid speculation that weak economic data will convince the Federal Reserve to hold off on increasing interest rates while anemic global growth puts pressure on central banks elsewhere to increase stimulus. The International Monetary Fund cut its world growth outlook on Monday, citing the slowdown in emerging markets.
Japan’s Topix index gained 1.2 percent after the nation’s central bank maintained record monetary stimulus. Thirty-four of 36 economists surveyed correctly forecast the central bank would leave its policy unchanged Wednesday to keep increasing the monetary base at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen ($660 billion).
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 3.1 percent to the highest level since Aug. 20, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index surged 4.7 percent. Mainland Chinese markets remain closed for a holiday and will resume trading on Thursday.
South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.8 percent and Taiwan’s Taiex index jumped 1.2 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index advanced 2.1 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.6 percent and New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index lost 0.3 percent.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.7 percent after concern over pharmaceutical pricing and company earnings spurred a slump in drugmakers on Tuesday. The underlying measure slipped 0.4 percent to end its longest winning streak this year.
“The recovery in U.S. markets began to show signs of fatigue,” Matthew Sherwood, head of investment strategy at Perpetual Ltd. in Sydney, which manages about $21 billion, wrote in an e-mail to clients. “There was little macro data out of note last night, which provided investors with time to analyze what had changed during the recent five-day rally, and the answer was not a lot.”