Asian Stocks Advance as Chinese Economy Grows Faster

Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index rising to its highest level since May 21, as China reported growth accelerated, boosting the outlook for the global economy.

Sands China Ltd. jumped 9.2 percent to a record in Hong Kong after the Macau casino operator reported profit that beat analyst estimates. Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s biggest gold producer, rose 5.3 percent as bullion headed for its best week since August on expectations the Federal Reserve will hold off cutting stimulus. SBI Holdings Inc. fell 3 percent after the Japanese brokerage said it plans to sell convertible bonds.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.6 percent to 143.51 as of 7:16 p.m. in Tokyo, with more than two shares gaining for each that fell. The gauge completed a weekly increase of 1.9 percent, its second straight week of gains, as investors shifted their focus from the resolution of the U.S. fiscal showdown to the timeline for the Fed reducing bond buying.

“Risk appetite is increasing as we’re seeing a modest synchronized recovery in the global economy,” Khiem Do Kong-based head of multi-asset strategy at Baring Asset Management Ltd., which oversees about $57 billion, said in a telephone interview. “China’s economy is stabilizing.”

China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent. The nation’s economy expanded 7.8 in the third quarter from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said in Beijing today. The result matched the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey after a 7.5 percent advance in the second quarter.

Industrial production in China rose 10.2 percent in September from a year earlier, while retail sales climbed 13.3 percent, separate reports showed.

Regional Indexes

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index increased 0.7 percent to its highest close since June 2008. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.6 percent and Taiwan’s Taiex Index gained 0.8 percent. Japan’s Topix fell 0.1 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index dropped 0.4 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index advanced 0.2 percent.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index has climbed 3.6 percent so far through yesterday as the U.S. Congress voted to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. The gauge trades at 13.8 times estimated earnings, compared with 15.7 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 14.6 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

S&P 500 futures expiring in December added less than 0.1 percent today. The U.S. equity gauge rose to a record yesterday as speculation grew that the Federal Reserve will maintain the pace of stimulus after Congress ended the budget standoff.

President Barack Obama signed into law a measure ending the government shutdown and extending the nation’s borrowing authority until early next year. BlackRock Inc. and Pacific Investment Management Co. say the Fed will postpone tapering its bond purchases as a result of the debt-ceiling debate.

Stimulus Outlook

“We’ve got a short-term solution to the U.S. fiscal impasse, which will keep people positive,” Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners Ltd. in Wellington, said by telephone. “The Federal Reserve will be very wary of pulling back stimulus when you’ve got this political issue still to come in January and February.”

Congress acted just before U.S. borrowing authority was scheduled to lapse as lawmakers engaged in their fourth round of fiscal brinkmanship in less than three years. Lawmakers didn’t resolve any of their long-term divides and will have to return to the same issues over the next four months.

Gold producers advanced. Newcrest climbed 5.3 percent to A$10.68 in Sydney. Zijin Mining Group Co., China’s biggest gold producer, rose 2.8 percent to HK$1.83 in Hong Kong.

Sands, AIA

Sands China, controlled by billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, jumped 9.2 percent to a record close of HK$58. Third-quarter net income rose 89 percent to $617.9 million from a year earlier as a new resort drew more gamblers. Adjusted property earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 62 percent to $785.3 million in the third quarter, the company said in a stock-exchange statement. That compares with an average estimate of $732 million from 10 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

AIA Group Ltd., the second-largest Asia-based insurer by market value, surged 4.4 percent to a record close of HK$40.05. New business value, measuring projected future profitability of new policies, increased to a record $379 million from $300 million a year earlier, the Hong Kong-based company said in a statement today.

Apple Demand

Apple Inc. suppliers climbed after Morgan Stanley said demand for iPhone handsets remains strong. LG Display Co., a producer of panels used in smartphones, rose 2.7 percent to 24,950 won in Seoul. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which assembles iPhones and iPads, gained 1.8 percent to NT$75.

Apple probably sold 34.5 million iPhones in the third quarter with demand improving later in the period, Katy Huberty, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, said in an Oct. 17 report citing their AlphaWise Smartphone Tracker data. The iPhone 5s is showing as much as three weeks’ wait time at Apple’s U.S. online store, Huberty wrote.

Among stocks that fell, SBI Holdings slipped 3 percent to 1,241 yen. The Japanese brokerage said yesterday it plans to raise 30 billion yen, selling zero coupon convertible bonds due in 2017.