Asian Stocks Rise to Cap Biggest Weekly Advance in Six Weeks

  • Shanghai Composite Index advances as volatility drops
  • Japan's Topix index closes up after sliding most of the day

Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index extending their biggest weekly advance in six weeks, as technology and consumer companies advanced.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.4 percent to 134.45 at 1:40 p.m. in London, taking its advance this week to 1.7 percent. The gauge, which has rallied 11 percent from a September low, posted the biggest daily jump in a month on Thursday amid optimism the Federal Reserve’s pace of tightening will be gradual.

“The Fed has made it clear that its base case is for a lift-off in December and if they were to break that, it would be a huge, market-moving event,” said Evan Lucas, Melbourne-based strategist at IG Ltd. “It’s been very positive for markets this week, with equities responding favorably to this macro picture.”

Source: Bloomberg

HTC Corp. climbed 7 percent in Taipei as the smartphone maker is said to have partnered with Shenzhen-listed Hangzhou Shunwang Technology Co. to help expand the China market for its virtual-reality product. 

Sharp Corp. advanced 4.8 percent after a report the money-losing electronics company’s television business will post a profit next year. Kose Corp. rose 6.1 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG raised its share-price forecast on the cosmetics maker. Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. jumped 26 percent in Seoul on news North Korea is proposing talks with South Korea next week.

Japan’s Topix index closed 0.2 percent higher, turning positive in the final minutes of trading and erasing losses of as much as 0.6 percent. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who unleashed unprecedented monetary stimulus at the Bank of Japan in 2013 and doubled down on it last year, is done expanding his efforts, according to an increasing number of economists.

Going Up

“There’s a lack of catalysts for the market but some people might trade to adjust their positions,” said Ichiro Yamada, general manager of equities at Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co. “If the market is going anywhere, then up is the most likely direction.”

The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.4 percent as declining volatility and rebounding margin debt suggest government measures to stabilize equity markets are paying off. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index climbed 1.1 percent, reversing earlier losses of as much as 0.6 percent. The Hang Seng Index also gained 1.1 percent.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.3 percent and New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index added 0.2 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index and Singapore’s Straits Times Index were little changed. Taiwan’s Taiex slipped 0.1 percent.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.3 percent. The underlying gauge is up 2.9 percent this week. The measure slipped 0.1 percent Thursday, after fluctuating throughout the day, as UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s profit warning rattled the health-care sector and oil’s descent sank energy producers.

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