Asian Stocks Advance on U.S. Employment, Manufacturing
Asian stocks rose after reports on U.S. employment and manufacturing topped estimates and confidence among American consumers climbed to a four-year high. A gauge of Chinese shares listed in Hong Kong rallied 20 percent from a September low, entering a bull market.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s largest mining company, climbed 1.8 percent. Sands China Ltd. (1928), the Macau casino operator controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, gained 6.3 percent as spending by middle-class Chinese gamblers boosted profit 17 percent. Sharp Corp. (6753) slid 2.4 percent after the TV maker forecast a record loss and said there was “material doubt” about its survival.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.8 percent to 122.71 as of 7:18 p.m. in Tokyo. The gauge climbed 7 percent this year through yesterday as central banks around the world boosted stimulus to support economic growth. The measure has risen 1 percent this week.
“Global indicators are starting to show an improvement in momentum, particularly in the U.S.,” said Nader Naeimi, Sydney- based head of dynamic asset allocation at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which manages almost $100 billion. “This can be sustained if central banks keep supporting growth.”
Raw-material producers and industrial companies gained the most today among the 10 groups on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. Stocks on the measure traded for 13.2 times average estimated earnings, compared with 13.7 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 12.3 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average (NKY) gained 1.2 percent, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.1 percent and South Korea’s Kospi climbed 1.1 percent. Singapore’s Strait Times gained 0.7 percent and Taiwan’s Taiex added 0.3 percent.
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged 1.3 percent to the highest since August 2011.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong advanced 1.2 percent, with the gauge closing 20 percent higher than on Sept. 5, marking the start of a bull market. Shares have risen on speculation China’s economy may be stabilizing.
Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed today. The gauge yesterday gained 1.1 percent, its biggest advance in seven weeks.
American companies expanded payrolls in October by the most in eight months, the Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. factory index topped estimates, and a measure of consumer sentiment rose to the highest since February 2008, reports showed yesterday.
Today’s monthly report from the Labor Department will provide a last snapshot of the U.S. jobs market before next week’s presidential election. Payrolls probably increased by 125,000 workers in October and the unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Sony Corp. climbed 2.1 percent to 934 yen as Japan’s biggest consumer-electronics exporter maintained its full-year profit forecast. The maker of Bravia TVs and PlayStation game machines is cutting 10,000 jobs and selling assets as Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai focuses on mobile devices, games and digital imaging following four consecutive annual losses.
Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd., the manufacturer of electric machinery, soared 6.6 percent to 306 yen as first-half profit topped analyst estimates.
Sands China added 6.3 percent to HK$31.90. Earnings grew 17 percent after the opening of a new resort in April on Macau’s popular Cotai strip, allowing the company to attract more Chinese tourists in the world’s largest gambling hub.
Among declining shares, Sharp slid 2.4 percent to 165 yen after saying its net loss will probably widen to 450 billion yen in the year ending March 31, scrapping an earlier projection for a 250 billion-yen loss. Sharp follows Panasonic Corp. in predicting losses that exceeded analysts estimates after losing ground to Samsung Electronics Co. in TVs.
Nikon Corp. retreated 6.1 percent to 1,928 yen in Tokyo, the most in almost three months, as the camera maker cut its operating-profit forecast 15 percent to 72 billion yen.
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