Asian Stocks Gain as Chinese Shares Rise, Oil Rebounds Above $30

  • Japan shares rise on low volume as weaker yen buoys exporters
  • HSBC shares drop on surprise pretax loss for fourth quarter

Asian stocks rose, reversing earlier losses as Chinese stocks climbed to their highest in almost a month and oil rebounded above $30 a barrel, lifting energy shares.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.8 percent to 120.52 as of 2:59 p.m. in London after jumping 5.9 percent last week. Consumer-staple and industrial shares led gains as all the measure’s 10 industry groups climbed on Monday. The regional benchmark index remains 8.7 percent lower this year as a combination of tumbling oil prices, concern about the slowdown in Asia’s largest economy and a selloff in bank stocks sent a measure of global stocks into a bear market.

“People are willing to take risk again,” said Karl Goody, who helps oversee about A$10 billion ($7.2 billion) as a private wealth manager at Shaw and Partners Ltd. in Sydney. “People are looking at the selloff this year and saying: enough is enough, there’s been enough pain now.”

HSBC Holdings Plc declined 2.2 percent in Hong Kong after unexpectedly reporting a fourth-quarter pretax loss of $858 million.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.4 percent to close at its highest since Jan. 25 amid speculation the new securities regulator chairman will take steps to boost the world’s second-largest equity market. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.9 percent and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, a gauge of mainland stocks listed in the city, gained 1.3 percent.

CSRC Boss

Xiao Gang, who had been chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission since March 2013, was replaced by Liu Shiyu after last summer’s rout wiped $5 trillion in market value and dented confidence among the nation’s 99 million individual investors. The government has had to step in to steady markets and restrict share sales after unchecked leverage drove an initial surge in local equities before a collapse in June last year.

Japan’s Topix index rose 0.6 percent, reversing losses of as much as 1 percent. The yen fell against the dollar after climbing 0.6 percent last week for its third straight weekly advance. Equity trading volumes on Monday were 28 percent below average.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 1 percent. Brambles Ltd. surged 8.5 percent after the supplier of warehouse pallets reported profit and sales that topped analyst estimates.

Regional Gauges

Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.1 percent and India’s S&P/BSE Sensex Index rose 0.5 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index and New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index closed little changed. Markets in Thailand and Sri Lanka are shut for holidays.

Bank of East Asia Ltd., the Hong Kong lender targeted by billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp., jumped 9.2 percent, the most in more than six years, after a major shareholder increased his stake in the company. Chairman David Li bought 110,000 shares last week, raising his holding to 86.74 million shares, filings to the Hong Kong stock exchange showed.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 1.4 percent after the U.S. equities gauge ended Friday’s session little changed.

The pound dropped as much as 2.4 percent against the dollar after London Mayor Boris Johnson, a well-known political figure, said he’ll campaign for Britain’s exit from the EU in a June referendum.

Investors are awaiting the start of a Group of 20 meeting this week. Officials from the world’s biggest economies gather in Shanghai starting from Friday, with the weakening global-growth outlook expected to dominate the agenda.

U.S. crude rose 7.1 percent to trade at $31.75 a barrel. Russia said talks on an output freeze will be done by March 1, while Nigeria said some countries should have production capped at higher levels.

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