Asian Stocks Rise as Global Economic Data Boost Sentiment

Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index extending a seven-month high, after data on U.S employment and Chinese exports bolstered the outlook for the global economy.

Panasonic Corp., an electronics maker that gets almost half of sales outside of Japan, climbed 2.7 percent. Dongfeng Motor Group Co. jumped 4.9 percent in Hong Kong as partner Nissan Motor Co.’s premium Infiniti brand restarted construction of a plant in China. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. rose 5.1 percent in Seoul after Australia said the company is one of two seeking to build two vessels for its navy.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.2 percent to 143.59 as of 4:13 p.m. in Hong Kong, heading for its highest close since Oct. 22, as all but one of its 10 industry groups rose. The gauge last week capped its longest streak of weekly advances since March. The measure rallied 10 percent through last week from this year’s low in February amid signs of stronger manufacturing in China and as authorities there eased bank collateral rules, while U.S. data signaled a recovery in the world’s largest economy is intact.

“Fundamentally, the global economy is improving,” Keith Poore, who helps manage $131 billion as Wellington-based head of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., said by phone. “The backdrop is really positive for equities. As long as we see low inflation and supportive central bank policies, the rally looks sustainable.”

Global Rally

Global stocks extended gains June 6 to a more than six-year high as U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 217,000 workers in May, exceeding the 215,000 increase projected by analysts and marking a fourth month of gains of more than 200,000, the first time that’s happened since early 2000. Chinese exports rose a more-than-estimated 7 percent last month, while imports fell, data yesterday showed.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.3 percent, while the broader Topix index closed little changed. The nation’s first-quarter gross domestic product expanded an annualized 6.7 percent from the previous three months, according to revised figures released by the cabinet office today. That compares with a preliminary estimate of 5.9 percent reported last month and a median forecast of 5.6 percent by 21 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Taiwan Trade

Taiwan’s Taiex index added 0.3 percent. The nation’s exports rose 1.4 percent from the previous year in May, the Ministry of Finance reported after the market closed. Shipments were expected to rise 4.5 percent, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.7 percent and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland stocks traded in the city gained 0.6 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index closed little changed. Singapore’s Straits Times Index and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index both rose 0.1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index lost 0.3 percent. Australian markets were closed for a holiday.

U.S. Futures

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.1 percent today. The U.S. equity benchmark index climbed 0.5 percent to a record high at the end of last week after better-than-forecast data showed payrolls pushed past their pre-recession peak for the first time in May.

Federal Reserve officials are watching the labor market as they move to complete their bond-purchase program late this year and start considering the timing of the first interest-rate increase since 2006.

Shares on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index traded at 13.2 times estimated earnings at the end of last week compared with a multiple of 16.5 times for the S&P 500 Index and 15.5 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Exporters advanced. Panasonic climbed 2.7 percent to 1,171 yen in Tokyo. Sony Corp., the maker of Bravia televisions and PlayStation game consoles, added 0.9 percent to 1,658 yen. LG Display Co., which supplies panels for Apple Inc. devices, increased 2.1 percent to 27,350 won in Seoul.

Infiniti Factory

Dongfeng Motor climbed 4.9 percent to HK$12.82 in Hong Kong. The Infiniti factory being built in northeastern China will take 12 to 14 months to complete and have an initial annual production capacity of at least 100,000 vehicles, according to Lu Feng, head of the legal and securities affairs department at Nissan’s Chinese manufacturing partner. Nissan gained 1 percent to 951 yen in Tokyo.

Daewoo Shipbuilding gained 5.1 percent to 26,900 won. Australian Defense Minister David Johnston said last week Daewoo is competing with Spain’s Navantia SA for a contract to build two new ships for the navy.

Dentsu Inc. rose 2.5 percent to 4,275 yen in Tokyo after CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets raised its rating on the advertising agency to outperform from underperform.

TPK Surges

TPK Holding Co. jumped 6.8 percent to NT$258 in Taipei. The supplier of displays to smartphone makers is setting up a joint venture with Nissha Printing Co. and Cambrios Technologies Corp. to develop touch screens, DigiTimes reported.

Among shares that fell, Great Wall Motor Co. slipped 6.1 percent to HK$30.60. The Chinese maker of sport-utility vehicles reported sales declined to 51,837 units in May from 59,273 in April.

Macau casino operators slid after Deutsche Bank AG lowered its 2014 gaming revenue growth estimate to 12 percent from 15 percent for the gambling hub. SJM Holdings Ltd. dropped 2.4 percent to HK$20.25, while Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. fell 2.4 percent to HK$56.80.

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