Asian Stocks Rise From Two-Month Low as Health-Care Shares Gain

Updated on

Asia’s benchmark stock index rose, set to snap seven days of losses, as health-care companies advanced. Chinese shares fell for a second day after MSCI Inc. held off from adding mainland shares to its benchmark indexes.

ScinoPharm Taiwan Ltd. jumped 5.9 percent in Taipei, pacing gains among drugmakers. Inpex Corp., Japan’s biggest energy explorer, rose 1.9 percent in Tokyo as crude oil futures rallied for a second day. China Coal Energy Co. and China Shenhua Energy Co. dropped at least 3.9 percent in Hong Kong after the nation’s biggest producers of the fuel rejected a media report that they are planning a merger.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.5 percent to 146.88 as of 4:37 p.m. in Hong Kong. The gauge dropped 3.5 percent in the seven days through Tuesday as investors weighed the outlook for U.S. interest rates amid signs the world’s largest economy is strengthening, Greece delayed payment of its debts and bond yields jumped.

“The sell off seems overdone,” Nicholas Teo, a strategist at CMC Markets, said by phone. “While equity valuations in China look stretched, valuations for the the rest of Asia seems reasonable, particularly for Japan.”

The Shanghai Composite Index trades at 20.6 times estimated earnings, compared with 15.7 times for Japan’s Topix index and 14.4 times for the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.1 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex index climbed 1.2 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index advanced 0.9 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex gained 1.1 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index declined 1 percent.

Hong Kong Slumps

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 1.1 percent, erasing gains of as much as 0.5 percent. Tests are being conducted on a 22-year-old woman who developed a fever on Tuesday after returning from a trip to Seoul, Hong Kong’s health department said in an emailed statement. More than 100 people have been infected by the Middle East respiratory syndrome in South Korea since its outbreak last month. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index dropped 1.8 percent.

The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2 percent at the close after swinging between a loss of as much as 2.2 percent and a gain of 1 percent. MSCI said mainland Chinese stocks will probably be added to its indexes once market access issues are resolved, deferring a move that could lure billions of dollars to the world’s best-performing market.

Yen Surge

Japan’s Topix Index dropped 0.4 percent, erasing gains of as much as 0.8 percent, as the yen soared after Bank of Japan chief Haruhiko Kuroda said it’s hard to see the currency falling more.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.2 percent. The underlying equity rose less than 0.1 percent on Tuesday as banks rallied amid higher bond yields while airlines and technology companies slipped.

Greece retreated from budget concessions to its creditors, setting the stage for another attempt by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande to try to break the country’s financing deadlock. Any remaining bailout funds are off limits unless Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reaches an accord with creditors. The nation’s financial safety net expires on June 30.