Global Earnings Optimism, Oil's Rally Keep Asian Shares Afloat

  • Machinery makers jump as Caterpillar raises sales outlook
  • Globalwafers surges to record on reported Samsung contract

Most Asian stocks advanced as positive earnings and a higher oil price helped lift investor sentiment, with the U.S. Federal Reserve set to conclude its policy meeting later Wednesday.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 159.09 as of 4:33 p.m. in Hong Kong, with advancing stocks maintaining an edge over decliners. The MSCI Asia Pacific Energy Index climbed 1.4 percent as the best performing sub-gauge of the regional benchmark. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.9 percent as the top-performing country index.

Santos Ltd. advanced 5.3 percent in Australia while PetroChina Co. climbed 3.1 percent in Hong Kong after oil rose above $48 a barrel for the first time since early June. Komatsu Ltd. closed 2.7 percent higher in Tokyo, while Shantui Construction Machinery Co. rose 1.4 percent in Shenzhen after Caterpillar Inc. raised its full-year sales outlook.

“As a leading indicator, Caterpillar’s sales outlook points to better-than-expected growth in China,” said Hao Hong, Hong Kong-based chief strategist at Bocom International Holdings Co. “With a lack of inflationary pressure, the Fed is expected to keep its monetary policy accommodating and delay shrinking its balance sheet.”

China Evergrande Group soared 18 percent in Hong Kong to a record after the property developer said its first-half profit would triple from a year earlier. Globalwafers Co. surged 7.6 percent in Taiwan to a record as the maker of silicon wafers was reported to have signed a contract with Samsung Electronics Co.

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