Asian Stocks Advance After Steepest Monthly Drop Since SeptemberSarah McDonald, Toshiro Hasegawa and Anna Kitanaka
Asian stocks rose, after the regional benchmark gauge posted its biggest monthly drop since September, as technology shares led gains. Mainland Chinese equities slumped after factory reports missed estimates.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.2 percent to 146.6 as of 7:21 p.m. in Tokyo, advancing for a second day. The measure slid 3.4 percent in June, leaving it little changed for the quarter. The Shanghai Composite Index slid 5.3 percent Wednesday, after its steepest monthly decline in two years.
Shares across the rest of the region followed U.S. equities higher even as two reports on China’s manufacturing industry for June trailed projections, adding to signs of a tepid response to looser monetary policy in Asia’s biggest economy. Greece missed a deadline for repaying $1.7 billion to the IMF, with investors now awaiting a July 5 vote by its people on whether they support austerity measures.
“The extreme wariness toward Greece does seem to be fading,” said Hiroichi Nishi, a manager at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. in Tokyo. “But until the referendum, it’s like annoyingly having a tiny fish bone stuck in the back of your throat.”
Japan’s Topix index added 0.4 percent as a survey of sentiment among the nation’s large manufacturers beat estimates. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rallied 1 percent after capping a 7.3 percent slide from March through June, its steepest such drop since 2011. The Kospi index gained 1.1 percent in Seoul, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 1.2 percent.
Fitch Ratings’s move to lift its outlook for Malaysia spurred a rally for the nation’s equities, with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index advancing 1.3 percent. Hong Kong’s market was closed Wednesday for a holiday.
E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.8 percent after the underlying U.S. equity gauge rose 0.3 percent on Tuesday.
“Greece wasn’t able to make the repayment but until we get further clarity from the referendum, it’s hard to take a position,” Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s biggest brokerage, said. “While we wait, the market won’t be looking to aggressively buy. China’s economy is slowing but it’s expected and it’s not a level where it makes you worried about growth.”
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