Asian Stocks Advance After U.S. Gauges Rally to Records

Asian stocks rose the most in seven weeks as investors weighed earnings and after U.S. equity indexes climbed to records.

Nissan Motor Co. jumped the most in 11 months after Japan’s second-biggest carmaker reported full-year profit that beat estimates and forecast higher dividends. PanAust Ltd., an Australian copper producer, soared 34 percent on a takeover bid from Guangdong Rising Assets Management Co. PetroChina Co. added 2.8 percent to its highest close since Nov. 25 in Hong Kong after announcing the sale of assets valued at 39 billion yuan ($6.3 billion).

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1.1 percent to 139.27 at 6:06 p.m. in Hong Kong, its biggest advance since March 24, as all 10 of its industry groups rose. Shares maintained their gains after data showed China’s economic slowdown is deepening.

“The U.S. is always the anchor both for confidence and global growth and it seems to be performing quite decently,” said Mikio Kumada, a Hong Kong-based global strategist at LGT Capital Partners. “It’s very hard for China to surprise the market in a positive way. It basically needs paradigm change.”

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both rallied to records yesterday as Internet and small-cap shares increased amid deals activity.

Companies that do business in the U.S. gained. Toyota Motor Corp., a Japanese carmaker that gets 31 percent of its revenue in North America, rose 2.5 percent to 5,650 yen. Techtronic Industries Co., a power-tool maker that generates 73 percent of sales in the region, added 1.6 percent to HK$25.30.

Regional Gauges

Japan’s Topix index jumped 1.8 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index and South Korea’s Kospi index both added 0.9 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.7 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex index rose 0.1 percent.

India’s S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.4 percent to a record. Exit polls showed the main opposition alliance probably won the most seats in national parliamentary elections. Markets in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Bangladesh were closed for a holiday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 0.4 percent after jumping the most in seven weeks yesterday on optimism state reforms will boost equity markets. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies traded in the city added 0.3 percent.

Data today showed China’s industrial output, investment and retail sales growth unexpectedly slowed, suggesting the government’s efforts to counter an economic slowdown have yet to gain traction.

China Slowdown

Factory production rose 8.7 percent in April from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today in Beijing, compared with the 8.9 percent median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Fixed-asset investment increased 17.3 percent in the first four months of the year, and retail sales advanced 11.9 percent in April.

China’s broadest measure of new credit fell last month as authorities extended their campaign to tame financial dangers even as construction and manufacturing data point to a worsening slowdown. Aggregate financing was 1.55 trillion yuan in April, the People’s Bank of China said yesterday in Beijing, compared with 2.07 trillion yuan in March.

Earnings Analysis

Among companies on the Asian gauge that reported quarterly results from April 1 through yesterday and for which Bloomberg had estimates, 53 percent beat profit expectations, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Nissan jumped 5.1 percent to 913 yen after reporting net income rose 14 percent to 389 billion yen for the year ended March on better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. The company also plans to make dividend payments of 33 yen per share in the current fiscal year, up from 30 yen the previous period.

PanAust soared 34 percent to A$2.12, its largest gain since January 2009. Guangdong Rising, a state-owned Chinese investment group, offered to take control of the copper producer in a cash bid that values it at A$1.5 billion ($1.4 billion).

PetroChina, operator of the country’s largest pipeline network, added 2.8 percent to HK$9.24. The company will transfer to a separate unit assets including the First and Second West-East Gas Pipelines, which carry natural gas from central Asian countries and China’s energy-rich region of Xinjiang to the nation’s eastern cities, according to a statement to the Hong Kong bourse yesterday. The company will then sell the unit, PetroChina Eastern Pipelines Co.

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