Tech Leads Asia Stocks Gains as Traders Look Beyond Fed Comments

  • Tech gauge is biggest sector riser on MSCI Asia-Pacific Index
  • Traders price in near certainty Fed will lift rates next week

Investors Take Stock as They Wait for Fed's Next Move

Asian stocks rose a second day as investors looked beyond a near-certain U.S. interest-rate increase this month, and energy companies advanced on the likelihood of further output cuts by OPEC amid global oversupply.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent as of 4:04 p.m. in Hong Kong. Tencent Holdings gained 1.2 percent to lead gains among technology stocks, the biggest advancing group among 11 industries. Idemitsu Kosan Co. and SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd. led the energy sector index.

Oil traded near $53 a barrel as Iraq said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will likely need to extend production cuts beyond the first half of the year. Angola also signaled a willingness to back prolonging the deal as long as necessary.

“The remarks by oil-producing countries and OPEC are positive for energy companies,” John Teja, a director at PT Ciptadana Securities, said by phone from Jakarta. “Investors have priced in the rate hike in March. The signal from the Fed for more hikes beyond that gave confidence on the outlook of the U.S. economy.”

SUMMARY

  • Japan’s Topix little changed, Nikkei -0.2%
    • Yen +0.1% to 113.78 per dollar, rising for 3rd day
    • Idemitsu Kosan +2.3%
  • Hang Seng Index +0.4%, HSCEI +0.6%, Shanghai Composite +0.3%
  • ASX 200 +0.3%
  • South Korea’s Kospi +0.6%
    • Lotte Confectionery +4.1%, LG Electronics +5%
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index +0.2%, Jakarta Stock Exchange Composite Index -0.3%, Thai’s SET Index little changed, India’s Sensex -0.1%, Malaysia’s KLCI Index little changed, Philippines PSEi Index -0.3%
    • SapuraKencana Petroleum +5%
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