Asia Stocks Track U.S. Gains as Energy, Commodity Shares Rally

  • Tencent lifts Hang Seng; BHP, Rio Tinto climb with oil prices
  • Volatility in equities markets eases after a wild week

BNP Strategist Sees Market Focused on U.S. Tail Risks

Asian stocks rebounded after last week’s upheaval, as a rally in energy and commodity producers sent the regional benchmark back near the highest level in two years.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.8 percent to 151.93 as of 4:28 p.m. in Hong Kong. Australia’s benchmark index soared 0.8 percent as BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Ltd. led gains among energy and mining shares. Japan’s Topix increased 0.5 percent, while the biggest rally in a month for Tencent Holdings Ltd. lifted Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index to the highest level since July 2015.

Asian investors shrugged off U.S. political turmoil tied to the Trump administration and North Korea’s latest missile test, to focus instead on the region’s growth. Oil extended gains toward $51 a barrel as Saudi Arabia sees all producers participating in output cuts into the first quarter of 2018.

"Investors are taking a breather from uncertainties over Trump, and oil is driving equity rallies across the region," said Jingyi Pan, a Singapore-based market strategist for IG Asia Pte. Ltd.

Lotte Chemical Corp. surged 6.4 percent in South Korea, its biggest gain in almost four months, while Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. advanced 2.5 percent. PetroChina Co. climbed 1.1 percent in Hong Kong, while Ping An Insurance Group Co. jumped 4.1 percent to a 22-month high.

Summary

  • HSCEI +1%, SHCOMP -0.5%, Taiex +0.5%
  • South Korea’s Kospi +0.7%
  • India’s Sensex +0.5%, Singapore’s Straits Times Index little changed
  • Malaysia’s KLCI Index +0.1%, Vietnam Stock Index +1.4%, Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite -0.7%
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