- Japanese carmakers rise to April high as yen extends decline
- Hang Seng Index heads for second straight monthly gain
Asian stocks rose, led by a jump in Hong Kong shares, following a rebound in U.S. equities on signs of strength in the American economy.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.2 percent to 138.22 as of 5:07 p.m. in Tokyo. The index fell Monday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated the case for an interest-rate hike is getting stronger. Chinese and Indian shares advanced, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index headed toward its second straight month of gains exceeding 5 percent. The Topix index closed little changed after slipping as much as 0.4 percent earlier.
U.S. equities rose to near a record Monday as data showed consumer spending rose for a fourth straight month in July. Investors are watching data closely for clues on whether the global economy can withstand an interest in U.S. interest rates. Reports Tuesday showed retail sales and household spending fell in Japan, while traders await U.S. data on manufacturing and payrolls later in the week.
“Views on the U.S. interest-rate hike have eased a little after a day’s passed, and it’s difficult to see a clear direction ahead of the U.S. jobs data,” said Seiichi Miura, a strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. in Tokyo. “There’s a profit-taking mood in the Japanese stock market after the surge yesterday. That said, there’s not enough of a reason to keep selling.”
A gauge of automakers on the Topix index rose to the highest level since April, after expectations for a U.S. interest rate increase sent the yen sharply lower. Japanese car makers, which dropped as much as 34 percent this year on the back of a strengthening yen, are among the biggest winners from the weekend gathering of central bankers at Jackson Hole.
The Hang Seng Index added 0.9 percent, while the gauge of Chinese mainland stocks listed in Hong Kong increased 1.1 percent. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. rose 1 percent, headed for its best month since April last year, while Bank of China Ltd. had the biggest daily advance in two weeks. China Southern Airlines Co., Asia’s biggest carrier by passengers, slid 6.4 percent after reporting a 10 percent slide in first-half net income. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.2 percent.
Ramsay Health Care Ltd. surged to a record in Sydney after profit beat estimates. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.2 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index increased 0.4 percent. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index added 0.3 percent.
The Philippine Composite Index resumed its longest losing streak since May after a holiday Monday. Overseas investors sold $76.2 million of the nation’s equities last week, the most in almost a year.
Futures on the S&P 500 Index are little changed in its most recent trading. The U.S. equity benchmark rebounded from a three-day slide to close near a record high as stronger consumer data underscores optimism that growth in the world’s largest economy is back on track.
West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 0.6 percent after it slumped 1.4 percent on Monday before a weekly data forecast. Inventories of gasoline probably declined by 1.25 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey, while crude probably increased by 1.5 million barrels last week.