Asian Stocks Advance as Japanese Shares Rally on Weaker Yen

  • Philippine shares jump after Duterte claims election win
  • Japanese exporters from Toyota Motor to Sony Corp. advance

Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index heading for its first gain this month, as Japanese shares jumped on a weaker yen and a crime-fighting mayor’s decisive victory in the Philippine presidential election spurred a rally in the nation’s equities.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.8 percent to 127.52 as of 4:07 p.m. in Hong Kong, after slumping 3.6 percent in the past six days, its longest such streak in four months. Japan’s Topix index climbed 2.2 percent as the yen traded at 108.95 per dollar, after weakening 1.1 percent on Monday as speculation mounted that the Federal Reserve is still on course to raise interest rates this year. Philippine shares jumped the most in Asia.

“The weakening yen is acting as a boost to stocks,” said Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chiba-Gin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “We’re seeing some risk-on moves overall. The key going forward is whether we’ll get a sense that all the negative earnings are over with now.”

South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.8 percent. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 0.4  percent, as did Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index. Taiwan’s Taiex index gained 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.4 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 0.6 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex index increased 0.2 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index closed little changed, after swinging between a loss of 0.4 percent and gains of 0.5 percent.

Investor sentiment toward Chinese stocks has turned more bearish as a boom in commodities futures waned and data showed March’s pickup in economic indicators didn’t carry over to April, with manufacturing gauges missing predictions, exports declining and imports dropping for the 18th month in a row. China’s consumer prices continued rising at a healthy clip, though still below the government’s target pace, while factory-gate deflation narrowed more than expected.

Philippine Rally

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index jumped 2.6 percent, the most since Jan. 27, and erasing earlier losses, as the nation’s financial markets resumed trading Tuesday following Monday’s election. Rodrigo Duterte, the tough-talking mayor who tapped voter frustrations over crime and inefficient public services, claimed victory in the Philippine presidential election. He has begun to flesh out his likely inner circle as investors seek clarity on his economic policies.

“It could still be an OK outcome for the market depending on what comes next,” Mixo Das, a strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Singapore, said phone. “It’s not a big surprise anymore, given Duterte’s lead was well flagged in opinion polls.”

Japanese exporters advanced, with Toyota Motor Corp. and Sony Corp. rising at least 2.2 percent. Asics Corp. surged 11 percent in Tokyo after the maker of athletic shoes and sports wear posted earnings that beat analyst estimates. Lenovo Group Ltd., the world’s largest PC maker, sank 8.3 percent in Hong Kong after Morgan Stanley and HSBC Holdings Plc cut their recommendations on the stock.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.5 percent. The U.S. equity benchmark index added 0.1 percent on Monday as a rally in health-care shares was offset by declines among commodity producers, while investors awaited a final batch of earnings reports and further clues on prospects for the economy.

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