Bloomberg News

Asia Stocks Add to Weekly Gain, Treasuries Drop; Oil Rebounds

June 23, 2011

June 24 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks climbed, driving the region’s benchmark index to its first weekly advance in eight, and Treasuries snapped a two-day gain as European leaders voiced support for Greece and a slump in energy prices eased concern the global recovery will falter. Oil prices rallied.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.5 percent as of 11:25 a.m. in Tokyo, taking its weekly gain to 1.4 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures rose 0.4 percent and 10-year Treasury yields gained two basis points. The Dollar Index climbed for a third day while the euro was little changed as it headed for a third weekly drop. Oil advanced in New York, recouping some of yesterday’s 4.6 percent plunge.

European Union officials pledged yesterday to stabilize the euro-area economy and provide aid to Greece as long as Prime Minister George Papandreou pushes through a package of budget cuts next week. China’s Premier Wen Jiabao said efforts to stem inflation have worked, which may be aided by the slump in energy prices. U.S. data today will likely to show durable goods orders climbed.

“The high oil price was a massive constraint on a fragile recovery, so anything that takes the froth off the energy market is positive for growth,” said Nader Naeimi, a Sydney-based strategist for AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which has almost $100 billion under management. “With Greece, they’ve managed to kick the can further down the road, but any progress in avoiding contagion to the rest of Europe is going to be welcomed.”

Prada IPO

About five shares advanced for every three that fell on MSCI’s Asia Pacific Index. The measure is snapping seven straight weeks of losses, the longest slump since 2004. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 0.3 percent and South Korea’s Kospi index climbed 1.1 percent. The Hang Seng Index added 1.3 percent in Hong Kong, where Prada SpA increased 0.4 percent after raising $2.1 billion in an initial public offering.

Airlines advanced on speculation the drop in oil will help cut fuel costs. Qantas Airway’s Ltd. rallied 3.1 percent and Korean Air Lines Co. gained 2.2 percent. Jet kerosene in Singapore has fallen 1.4 percent to $124 a barrel in the week to June 23. AirAsia Bhd. climbed 1.9 percent in Kuala Lumpur after the discount carrier placed a record order with Airbus SAS for the A320neo jetliner.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 0.6 percent, taking its gain this week to 2.3 percent. Premier Wen said in an opinion piece in the Financial Times that the pace of consumer- price increases will slow.

Oil, Gold

Crude for August delivery rose 1.1 percent to $92.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, rebounding from yesterday’s plunge. Brent crude oil tumbled 6 percent yesterday to $107.26 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, the lowest price since Feb. 22. The International Energy Agency agreed to release 60 million barrels to buyers.

Immediate-delivery gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,522.38 an ounce, paring yesterday’s 1.8 percent slump. Copper for three- month delivery climbed 0.7 percent to $9,020 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, halting a two-day, 1.3 percent drop. Soybean futures rose 0.8 percent and corn gained 0.3 percent, also snapping two days of losses.

U.S. stocks fell for a second day yesterday, driving the S&P 500 0.3 percent lower. Micron Technology Inc. plunged in extended trading after the largest U.S. maker of computer-memory chips reported third-quarter sales and profit that fell short of analysts’ estimates.

Greek Budget Cuts

Treasuries eroded this week’s gains, with 10-year notes yielding 2.94 percent. Orders for goods meant to last at least three years increased 1.5 percent in May, following a 3.6 percent decline in April, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey before the Commerce Department report. The Dollar Index rose 0.2 percent.

The euro traded at $1.4265 from $1.4256 in New York yesterday, having lost 0.3 percent against the U.S. currency this week. It bought 114.78 yen, compared with 114.78.

EU leaders urged Greece to pass a package of budget cuts and vowed to do what’s needed to meet the country’s financing needs, the group said in a statement in Brussels yesterday.

European finance chiefs will decide on July 3 whether Greece has met conditions for its next aid payment. Greek lawmakers must approve the 78 billion-euro ($111 billion) package in a vote next week, a condition for receiving a fifth loan payment under an existing bailout and for future financing.

“On a six-month view I’m looking for much lower levels in the euro,” said Michael McCarthy, the Sydney-based chief market strategist at CMC Markets. “On the Greek situation, one of the problems for markets is that the solution is going to take months and years to come through.”

--With assistance from Christian Schmollinger and Kristine Aquino in Singapore and Candice Zachariahs in Sydney. Editors: Rocky Swift, Jonathan Annells

To contact the reporters on this story: Shiyin Chen in Singapore at schen37@bloomberg.net; Shani Raja in Sydney at sraja4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rocky Swift at rswift5@bloomberg.net.


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