Asian Stocks Rise as Investors Weigh Earnings, Data

Asian stocks rose, with the regional gauge gaining a third day, as investors weighed earnings and economic reports.

Amorepacific Group jumped 6.1 percent to lead gains among consumer-staples stocks after brokers raised their target prices on the South Korean maker of cosmetics. CSL Ltd., the world’s second-biggest maker of blood-derived therapies, rose 2.6 percent in Sydney after posting an increase in annual profit and saying it will consider buying back more shares. Dentsu Inc., Japan’s largest advertising agency, added 3.3 percent after its quarterly loss narrowed. Eclat Textile Co. slumped 6.9 percent in Taipei after net income missed estimates.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.4 percent to 147.25 after falling as much as 0.2 percent. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, also known as the H-share index, added 1.2 percent, reversing losses amid speculation policy makers will step in to bolster growth after China’s central bank said aggregate financing was 273.1 billion yuan ($44.3 billion) in July, missing the 1.5 trillion yuan median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

“It’s definitely a ‘bad is good’ thematic playing out in Hong Kong and China today, as investors are expecting more easing,” said David Welch, the head of equity sales trading at Reorient Group Ltd. “Investors who are underweight the market are being forced to cut bearish bets and return to at least a market weighting.”

China Economy

Growth in China factory output was 9 percent, compared with expectations for a 9.2 percent rate. New local-currency loans of 385.2 billion yuan were half of projections, while M2 money supply grew a less-than-anticipated 13.5 percent from a year earlier. China’s retail sales grew 12.2 percent in July from a year earlier, up from 12.4 percent in June.

The Shanghai Composite Index added less than 0.1 percent after falling as much as 0.9 percent. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 0.8 percent.

Japan’s Topix index advanced 0.4 percent as investors weighed earnings. Data showed the nation’s economy contracted an annualized 6.8 percent in the three months through June, the first quarter after the nation boosted its consumption tax.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3 percent, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed. South Korea’s Kospi index added 1 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex Index gained 0.7 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index declined less than 0.1 percent.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.2 percent yesterday as investors watched geopolitical developments and energy shares sank after Brent crude fell to a 13-month low.

U.S. Labor

A report yesterday showed U.S. job openings rose in June to the highest level in more than 13 years, firming up the labor-market picture for the second half of the year. The figures are among those on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s labor-market “dashboard,” which she uses to help guide monetary policy.

A convoy Russia says is loaded with humanitarian assistance for rebel-held areas of Ukraine headed for the border, as the government in Kiev set conditions for letting the aid in and the Red Cross demanded more details.

Russia’s government said 280 trucks with 2,000 metric tons of donated food, medicine and water left Moscow yesterday and would proceed into Ukraine under the auspices of the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross. Ukraine expressed fears the convoy is carrying military equipment to support pro-Russian separatists.

The MSCI AC Asia Pacific Consumer Staples Index rose 0.7 percent, with Amorepacific jumping 6.1 percent to 1,022,000 won. CJ CheilJedang Corp., a food maker, climbed 5.4 percent to 364,000 won in Seoul.

CSL, Dentsu

CSL rose 2.6 percent to A$67.24 after reporting net income rose to $1.31 billion, or $2.70 a share, in the year ended June, matching the average estimate of 13 analysts.

Dentsu advanced 3.3 percent to 4,190 yen. The ad agency’s loss for the three months ended June narrowed to 735 million yen from 3.7 billion yen a year earlier.

Eclat Textile slumped 6.9 percent to NT$284 after posting profit of NT$557.9 million ($18.6 million) for the second quarter, missing analysts’ projections for NT$752.3 million.

Of the companies on the Asian stock gauge that released results from the start of July through yesterday and for which Bloomberg had estimates, 57 percent beat earnings expectations.

The Asia-Pacific gauge traded at 13.5 times estimated earnings as of yesterday, compared with 16.2 for the S&P 500 and 14.9 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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