Asian Stocks Index Little Changed After China GDP Data
Asia’s benchmark stock index was little changed after China reported the world’s second-largest economy grew in line with the government’s target. Technology shares led drops, while utilities and material producers rose.
TPK Holding Co., a supplier of touch screens to Apple Inc., retreated 4.9 percent in Taipei. Mirae Asset Securities Co. slumped 15 percent in Seoul after saying it will buy a stake in Mirae Asset Life Insurance. Iluka Resources Ltd. (ILU) paced gains among materials shares, climbing 3.9 percent in Sydney, after the world’s biggest zircon producer reported production that topped estimates. Rio Tinto Group (RIO) added 1.3 percent after saying that iron-ore output surged in the second quarter.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) lost less than 0.1 percent to 147.04 as of 8:16 p.m. in Hong Kong. China’s economic growth rate accelerated to 7.5 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, a report showed today. JPMorgan Chase & Co. yesterday said profit beat analysts’ estimates and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) reported an unexpected increase in earnings.
“The numbers are in line with the view that Chinese growth is picking up into the second half of this year,” Nader Naeimi, Sydney-based head of dynamic asset allocation at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which manages $131 billion, said by phone. “All the signs point to growth stabilizing. Hard-landing fears continue to be misplaced.”
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated in testimony before U.S. lawmakers yesterday that stimulus is still required, as a separate Fed report noted valuations of some smaller social-media and biotechnology stocks appear “substantially stretched.” A “high degree” of monetary policy accommodation continues to be appropriate, Yellen said in her semi-annual address to the Senate Banking Committee.
Japan’s Topix index, South Korea’s Kospi index and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index all closed little changed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.1 percent. Iluka gained 3.9 percent to A$8.53 and Rio Tinto advanced 1.3 percent to A$63.94.
Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.4 percent, while India’s S&P BSE Sensex Index advanced 1.3 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex Index lost 0.9 percent as TPK sank 4.9 percent to NT$251.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.3 percent and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) of mainland Chinese stocks listed in the city slipped 0.1 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.2 percent.
China’s second-quarter GDP growth of 7.5 percent compared with 7.4 percent expansion in the previous three months. Retail sales gained 12.4 percent in June from a year earlier and industrial production jumped 9.2 percent.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index traded at 13.5 times estimated earnings at the last close compared with 16.6 for the S&P 500, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Futures on the S&P 500 added 0.4 percent today after the U.S. equities benchmark yesterday slid 0.2 percent yesterday.
Huadian Power International Corp. surged 11 percent to HK$5.76 in Hong Kong, its highest close since 2007. The mainland utility said it expects first-half profit to jump as much as 65 percent.
Mirae Asset Securities sank 15 percent to 42,050 won in Seoul. The brokerage said it will buy a stake in Mirae Asset Life Insurance for 320.2 billion won ($310 million) from Mirae Asset Capital.
ICICI Bank Ltd. gained 4.8 percent to 1,460.85 rupees, while State Bank of India advanced 2.2 percent to 2,573.55 rupees. The central bank yesterday said it will allow lenders to sell long-term bonds exempted from reserve requirements to boost funding for infrastructure and housing.
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