Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Emerging-market stocks rose to the highest level in almost three months after Apple Inc. reported quarterly profit that more than doubled, boosting the outlook for Asian exporters.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained 0.2 percent to 999.97 as of 9:41 a.m. in London, heading for the highest close since Oct. 28. The BSE India Sensitive Index climbed 0.4 percent. The Micex Index jumped 0.8 percent in Moscow and the ISE National 100 Index gained 0.4 percent in Istanbul.
Technology and consumer discretionary companies were the biggest gainers on the emerging-market index, as Hynix Semiconductor Inc. paced gains among emerging-market Apple suppliers. The index trimmed gains as the U.K. Office for National Statistics reported gross domestic product fell 0.2 percent from the third quarter, when it increased 0.6 percent. The median forecast of 33 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey was for a drop of 0.1 percent.
“Strong earnings numbers from Apple provided much needed support for stocks,” analysts Slava Smolyaninov and Leonid Slipchenko at UralSib Capital in Moscow. “Today, investors will obviously focus on the results of the U.S. Fed’s FOMC meeting.”
The Federal Open Market Committee will release rate forecasts for the first time today. Economists are split on whether the Fed will buy more assets, with half saying they don’t expect a third round of so-called quantitative easing at any time, according to the Jan. 18-20 survey.
Hynix, which supplies memory chips to Apple, added 1.9 percent in Seoul. Apple, the maker of iPhones and iPads, said first-quarter profit surged to $13.1 billion, or $13.87 a share. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg on average estimated profit of $10.14 a share.
LG Electronics Inc., the world’s third-largest maker of mobile phones, rose 4.1 percent. The company’s fourth-quarter earnings probably improved from the previous three-month period, with its handset business returning to profit, Kim Woon Ho, a Seoul-based analyst at Hanwha Securities Co., said by telephone. LG will report fourth-quarter results on Feb. 1.
Thailand’s SET Index lost 0.7 percent before today’s interest-rate decision by the nation’s central bank. The Bank of Thailand reduced its one-day bond repurchase rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3 percent, it said in Bangkok today, a decision predicted by all 15 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. It was the second consecutive cut to help spur a recovery from the worst floods in almost 70 years.
The baht slipped 0.6 percent.
Markets in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China remain closed for holidays.
-- Editors: Peter Branton, Linda Shen
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