Bloomberg News

Asian Stocks Climb on Improved U.S. Spending, Higher Car Sales

August 30, 2011

Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks rose for a fourth day, set for their longest streak of daily advances since July, after U.S. consumer spending and car sales increased and as companies across the region reported higher profit.

Honda Motor Co., the Japanese carmaker that counts the U.S. as its biggest market, gained 1 percent in Tokyo. Aozora Bank Ltd. surged 8.2 percent as Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. was said to be considering buying the Japanese lender controlled by Cerberus Capital Management LP. China Eastern Airlines Corp., the nation’s third largest carrier by market value, climbed 2.2 percent after posting profit that beat analyst estimates.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1 percent to 123.22 as of 7:43 p.m. in Tokyo, with almost three stocks rising for each that fell. The measure snapped four weeks of losses last week on speculation Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke would foreshadow measures to shore up the U.S. recovery. Bernanke didn’t announce new stimulus plans and instead decided to extend next month’s policy meeting to a second day.

“Today’s price action reflects a sense of relief after the recent capitulation in share markets,” said Jason Teh, who helps manage about $3 billion at Investors Mutual Ltd. in Sydney. “Whereas U.S. economic data points before were deteriorating, they’re now looking more mixed, and that is encouraging. While I can’t recall too many companies giving rosy outlooks, this reporting season has proven satisfactory.”

U.S. Futures

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 1.2 percent. The lower house of the nation’s parliament elected Yoshihiko Noda prime minister today after the ruling Democratic Party of Japan yesterday chose him to succeed Naoto Kan. As Kan’s finance minister, Noda advocated an increase in levies to help finance disaster reconstruction, something opposed by his challengers in the race.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 0.6 percent today. In New York, the index rose 2.8 percent yesterday after the reports showing rising consumer spending and incomes overshadowed a drop in pending home sales, easing concern the U.S. is slipping into a recession.

Exporters climbed on speculation shipments will increase to the U.S., the biggest market for Asian-made cars, clothes, toys and electronics products. Honda Motor increased 1 percent to 2,438 yen. Samsung Electronics Co., South Korea’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics products, gained 1.2 percent to 742,000 won in Seoul. Li & Fung Ltd., a supplier of toys and clothes to U.S. retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., rose 2 percent to HK$13.56 in Hong Kong.

Aozora, Sony

India’s Sensitive Index gained 1 percent after a report showed the nation’s economy grew 7.7 percent in the second quarter, beating economist estimates. Markets in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore were shut for holiday.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.1 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi Index added 0.8 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 1.7 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.4 percent, erasing gains of as much as 1.5 percent.

Aozora Bank surged 8.2 percent to 211 yen in Tokyo. Australia & New Zealand Banking, the nation’s third-largest lender by market value, is considering buying the Japanese lender as part of a plan to expand in Asia and broaden its funding sources, according to a person familiar with the matter. ANZ lost 0.2 percent to A$20.18 in Sydney.

Sony Corp., Japan’s biggest maker of televisions by sales, climbed 3.5 percent to 1,695 yen in Tokyo. The maker of Bravia Televisions will form a joint venture with Toshiba Corp. and Hitachi that will become the world’s biggest manufacturer of liquid-crystal displays, the Yomiuri newspaper reported. Toshiba gained 2.1 percent to 339 yen, Hitachi while rose 1.2 percent to 411 yen.

Record Profit

Of the 680 companies on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index that reported net income since July 11, 44 percent surpassed analyst estimates, while 34 percent fell short, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

China Eastern Airlines climbed 2.2 percent to HK$3.80 in Hong Kong. The company said first-half profit increased 30 percent from a year earlier on rising domestic travel and a stronger yuan, beating analyst estimates.

Jiangxi Copper Co., China’s biggest producer of the metal, advanced 2.9 percent to HK$21.55 after posting first-half net income almost doubled to a record on higher prices and output.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 11 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 3.8 percent loss by the S&P 500 and a 17 percent drop by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark were valued at 12 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 12.2 times for the S&P 500 and 9.5 times for the Stoxx 600.

--With assistance from Yoshiaki Nohara in Tokyo. Editors: Nick Gentle, John McCluskey

To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Burgos in Singapore at jburgos4@bloomberg.net; Shani Raja in Sydney at sraja4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net


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