Asian Stocks Head for Weekly Advance on Bets for Global Recovery

  • Regional gauge marks small daily gain as Lunar New Year starts
  • Japan stocks approach one-year high on yen’s decline

Asian shares were poised for a weekly rise of 1.7% after U.S. benchmark indexes closed around all-time highs, as investors watch corporate earnings and economic reports to gauge whether the latest rally is justified.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up 0.1 percent as of 11 a.m. in Hong Kong. Advancers outnumbered decliners three to two, and eight out of 11 industry gauges were higher. Japan’s Topix index rose to within a few points of its highest since December 2015.

“Investors seem to be betting on the improving global economy and U.S. fiscal expansion,” Jeffrosenberg Tan, a director at PT Sinarmas Sekuritas, said by text message. “However, the risk of a trade war is increasing with Trump’s border tax idea.”

Shares of Keppel Corp. dropped after the world’s biggest oil rig builder warned that it is bracing for a prolonged slowdown, as higher crude prices are failing to offer relief to an industry slammed by overcapacity.

Summary

  • Telecommunication stocks lead advance; KDDI +3.2%, NTT Docomo +1.8%
  • Financial stocks also gain; materials shares decline
  • Nikkei 225 +0.4%, Topix +0.4% in Tokyo
  • Hang Seng Index +0.1%; Hang Seng China Enterprises Index -0.2%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index +0.6%, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index +0.1%
  • FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index little changed; Straits Times Index +0.4%
  • China, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam closed for holidays; Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore will have shortened sessions

For more Asia market news:
Indonesian Stocks Miss Rally as Jakarta Race Takes Islamic Turn
Oil Prices Doubling Is No Solace for World’s Biggest Rig Builder
Japan’s Consumer Price Declines Ease as Oil Costs Take Hold

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