Commodities Spur Gain in Asian Stocks; Iron Soars in Singapore

  • MSCI’s Asia-wide index is poised for seventh monthly advance
  • Iron ore climbs almost 6% after release of China economic data

Iron Ore Soars as Bull Case Gets Big Lift

Asian stocks were headed for their biggest monthly gain since January as raw-material and energy producers rallied after gains in oil and commodity prices signaled an improving outlook for the global economy.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent to 160.21 as of 4:48 p.m. in Hong Kong, extending this month’s advance to 3.6 percent, increasing for a seventh consecutive month. Oil added to gains from Friday while iron-ore futures in Singapore surged almost 6 percent after China data showed another expansion for the world’s largest steel industry.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed at its highest level in more than two years as China Shenhua Energy Co. and Kunlun Energy Co. led gains in materials producers. China Shenhua, the nation’s biggest coal miner, climbed after saying its profit in the first half of the year more than doubled. HSBC Holdings Plc jumped 2.6 percent in Hong Kong to the highest level in almost three years after reporting profit that beat analysts’ estimates and said it will spend as much as $2 billion buying back stock.

"China’s steady economic growth will continue to bolster the demand outlook for commodity prices, which should be positive for the region’s equities,” said Komsorn Prakobphol, an investment strategist at Tisco Financial Group Pcl in Bangkok. “The dollar’s weakness may also raise the appeal of assets in the region, attracting some fund inflows.”

Summary

  • Topix index -0.2%, Nikkei 225 Index -0.2%
    • Tokyo Stocks Slide as Strong Yen Tempers Local Earnings Boost
    • Japan Stocks Lag Behind in Asia With Abe Risk Casting Cloud
    • Japan Starts Regular Sustainability-Check Meeting on Pensions
  • Hang Seng Index +1.3%, Hang Seng China Enterprises Index +0.7%
    • Hong Kong Stocks Jump Toward Biggest Monthly Gain Since January
    • Buybacks Back in Hong Kong Stocks, Giving Rally Extra Boost
    • HSBC Profit Beats Estimates as Bank Announces Stock Buyback
  • Shanghai Composite Index +0.6%, Taiwan’s Taiex Index little changed
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index +0.3%, New Zealand’s NZX 50 +0.7%
  • Kospi index +0.1%, Kospi 200 Index +0.2%
    • South Korean Auto, Cosmetics Lead Drop After North’s ICBM Launch
    • Korean Retailers, Hotels Face Rating Cut Pressure: NH Investment
  • S&P BSE Sensex +0.5%
    • India’s Sensex Heads for Steepest Monthly Advance in 16 Months
    • Biggest Indian Bank Surges as Deposit Rate Cut May Boost Profit
  • Straits Times Index -0.2%, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index -0.4%, Philippine Stock Exchange PSEi Index -0.7%, Jakarta Composite Index +0.2%
  • Thailand’s SET Index -0.5%
    • Thai Stocks Face Challenges From Consumer Spending, Bad Debt: MS
    • Thai June Manufacturing Production Falls 0.16% Y/y; Est. +1.4%
    • Thailand June Current Account Surplus $4.3b; Median Est. $2.6b
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