Asia Equities Climb as Technology, Health-Care Stocks Advance

  • Energy producers lag as crude oil languishes in bear market
  • CMBI strategist sees money rotating into new-economy stocks

Asia stocks headed for the first gain in three days, led by technology firms after their more expensive peers jumped in the U.S.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.4 percent to 155.07 as of 4:31 p.m. in Hong Kong with 10 of the industry groups rising. A gauge of technology stocks in the Asian benchmark added 0.7 percent, following a 1 percent rally by the Nasdaq 100 Index on Wednesday.

“The Nasdaq’s rally lifts sentiment towards technology stocks and funds continue to rotate out of traditional sectors like energy," said Daniel So, a Hong Kong-based strategist with CMB International Securities Ltd.

The S&P ASX 200 added 0.7 percent even as Credit Suisse analysts see Australia’s large caps as relative losers on MSCI Inc.’s inclusion of Chinese A-shares. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3 percent a day after the MSCI’s decision.

Developing-nation technology giants including Samsung Electronics Co. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. have surged this year, but their valuation discount to U.S. peers is near the highest in 18 months.

Sapura Energy Bhd dropped 3.7 percent and Inpex Corp. lost 1.5 percent as oil held losses after extending declines in a bear market. Dexus tumbled 5 percent, the most since December 2012, a day after announcing plans to use a share placement to raise funds to buy office towers in Sydney.

Summary

  • Topix -0.1%; Nikkei 225 -0.1%
  • Hang Seng Index -0.1%
  • South Korea’s Kospi +0.5%
  • Taiwan’s Taiex +0.5%; Singapore’s Straits Times Index +0.3%
  • Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite -0.1%; Philippines PSEi -0.4%, Malaysia’s KLCI +0.1%
  • Thailand’s SET Index +0.4%; Vietnam Stock Index -0.1%
  • India’s Sensex +0.6%
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