Banks, Consumer Stocks Lead Asia Rally as Rebound Gathers Steam

  • Australia shares rebound as investors look for bargains
  • Cnooc rises after providing more information on reserves base

Asian equities rose for the 10th time in 11 days, shrugging off U.S. declines as the yen snapped an eight-day streak of gains. Banking and consumer stocks led the advance as earnings season continued in Hong Kong.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent as of 4:15 p.m., extending a rebound that has retraced about half of Wednesday’s 1.3 percent loss. Japan’s Topix Index and Australia’s benchmark gauge added at least 0.8 percent each. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.1 percent. U.S. stocks fell Friday, dragged down by health-care stocks, as House leaders postponed a scheduled vote on the insurance bill.

Sentiment remained fragile as uncertainty surrounding U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies lingered, said Margaret Yang Yan, analyst at CMC Markets Singapore. “If the health-care bill is rejected tonight, it will probably lead to disappointment in Trump’s administration, and thus trigger another round of selling,” she added.

Fukuoka Financial Group Inc. rose 1.2 percent in Tokyo as analysts upgraded the stock following a write down of goodwill. Cnooc Ltd. jumped 3.9 percent in Hong Kong as the oil giant gave more information on its reserve base and announced a higher-than-expected dividend. The stock was upgraded at CICC, Macquarie and JPMorgan.

Toshiba Corp. jumped 7.6 percent after a hedge fund became the embattled conglomerate’s biggest shareholder.

Summary

  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng China Enterprises Index -0.1%; Shanghai Composite +0.6%
  • Japan’s Nikkei 225 +0.9%
  • South Korea’s Kospi -0.2%; Taiwan’s Taiex -0.3%
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index +0.5%; FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI little changed; Jakarta Composite Index -0.2%; Philippine Stock Exchange Index -0.4%

— With assistance by Abhishek Vishnoi

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