Asian Stocks Rise Amid Stimulus Speculation; Topix Jumps

Asian stocks rose for a fifth day as the yen weakened amid signs policy makers in China and Japan will do more to support economic growth.

Nissan Motor Co., which gets 78 percent of its revenue overseas, added 1.1 percent. Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. jumped 7.7 percent after raising its full-year profit forecast. China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co. surged 11 percent in Hong Kong after reporting higher insurance premiums. Golden Agri-Resources Ltd. tumbled 7.8 percent in Singapore after the palm-oil producer said third-quarter profit plunged 86 percent from a year earlier.

Almost two shares rose for each that fell on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which added 0.3 percent to 141.8 as of 7:37 p.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix jumped to a six-year high amid speculation Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will go to the polls next month and delay the implementation of another sales-tax hike. The People’s Bank of China is asking selected lenders to apply for cash to support loans to smaller enterprises, according to an official with knowledge of the matter.

“People are poised to get into the market,” Steven Leung, director of institutional sales at UOB-Kay Hian Holdings Ltd. “Quantitative easing in Japan continues, and if sales tax is going to be delayed that will give Japan more hope for the economy to catch up. The European easing is still there, China is putting more money into the market, so we have to make use of the money to do something.”

Japan’s Topix index climbed 0.9 percent to its highest close since June 2008 as the yen fell 0.3 percent against the dollar. Taiwan’s Taiex index and Singapore’s Straits Times Index each advanced 0.7 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.3 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slid 0.5 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.4 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.4 percent.

China Growth

China’s leaders have discussed lowering the 2015 economic target and see the need for the goal to be below this year’s level of about 7.5 percent, said a person with knowledge of the talks. Data today showed the nation’s industrial output growth slowed in October, and retail sales and fixed-asset investment trailed estimates, signaling the world’s second-largest economy is losing momentum amid a property slump.

South Korea’s Kospi index slid 0.3 percent. The nation’s central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged at a four-year low, as Governor Lee Ju Yeol weighs the effects of recent cuts in supporting growth that’s threatened by a weak yen.

‘Looking Pricey’

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.3 percent. The equity benchmark fell 0.1 percent yesterday, halting a five-day rally that brought the gauge to all-time high, as gains among phone and consumer stocks offset losses in utilities. The measure traded at 17 times estimated earnings yesterday, compared with 14.1 for the MSCI Asia Pacific Index today.

“People are looking for the next story, whether it’s M&A activity or some good economic numbers,” Tony Farnham, Sydney-based strategist at Paterson Securities Ltd. “Valuations, particularly in the U.S., are looking a little bit pricey.”

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