Asia Stocks Poised for Best Weekly Advance in Three Months

Asian stocks advanced, with the regional benchmark index heading for its best week in three months, as favorable U.S. economic data bolstered investors’ appetite for cyclical shares.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 1.2%, extending its gains for the week to more than 2%. A gauge of consumer discretionary companies provided the biggest boost for the regional benchmark, with Japanese automakers Toyota Motor and Honda Motor among top contributors.

Japan and Taiwan were among the day’s best performers in the region. The bluechip Nikkei 225 Stock Average rallied more than 2% to a near three-week high, while Chinese and New Zealand stocks underperformed.

Asia Stocks Poised for Best Weekly Advance in Three Months

“This follows optimism around U.S. economic data boosting the recovery theme and may potentially spur some catch-up growth in Asia indexes, considering that they have been lagging in terms of returns performance,” Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at IG Asia wrote in a note. “Optimism may linger in the reopening sectors, as the initial jobless claims data yesterday continue to fall to its pandemic lows.”

Futures on the S&P 500 rose in Asian hours, after the underlying gauge advanced in New York. Applications for U.S. state unemployment insurance fell for a fourth consecutive week as more Americans get vaccinated and businesses reopen to eager customers.

In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.5%, dipping back into a technical correction after losing over 10% from its January record.

SECTORS TO WATCH

  • South Korean makers of vehicles and auto parts rallied in Seoul after the government said it will extend the tax cut on passenger cars for another six months to the end of 2021
  • China firms on the EV supply chain surged following a U.S. senate vote to advance a package of clean energy credits that include incentives for electric vehicle purchases
  • Japanese department store operators advanced following a Kyodo report that government is set to ease restrictions on large-scale facilities amid an extension of the state of emergency
  • Chinese brokerages gained as they benefited from increasing fund flows prompted by MSCI’s index rebalance and a strengthening yuan, according to Hao Hong, head of research and chief strategist at Bocom International
Read more:

Asian Stocks, U.S. Futures Climb on Growth Outlook: Markets Wrap

World’s Worst-Performing Market Comes Roaring Back: Taking Stock

Traders Grapple With Grief While India Markets Keep On Rising

Read European stock wrap here, U.S. wrap here

MARKETS AT A GLANCE

  • MSCI Asia Pacific Index up 0.8%
  • Japan’s Topix index up 1.9%; Nikkei 225 up 2.1%
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index little changed; Hang Seng China Enterprises down 0.5%; Shanghai Composite down 0.2%; CSI 300 down 0.3%
  • Taiwan’s Taiex index up 1.6%
  • South Korea’s Kospi index up 0.7%; Kospi 200 up 0.7%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 up 1.2%; New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 down 0.5%
  • India’s S&P BSE Sensex Index up 0.7%; NSE Nifty 50 up 0.7%
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index up 0.4%; Malaysia’s KLCI little changed; Philippine Stock Exchange Index up 0.1%; Jakarta Composite up 0.1%; Thailand’s SET little changed; Vietnam’s VN Index up 1.3%

ADVANCERS

  • Guangzhou Tinci Materials, a manufacturer of fine chemicals, gained 9.2% after the company signed a supply agreement with Contemporary Amperex
  • Namyang Dairy surged by daily limit of 30% in Seoul after its deal to sell founding family members’ controlling stake to South Korean private equity fund Hahn & Co.
  • HSBC Holdings climbed 3.8% in Hong Kong after the lender announced it would quit its retail banking business in the U.S.
  • Shenzhen Everwin jumped after the Chinese electronics component maker announced a plan to grant its shareholders bonus cash and equities

DECLINERS

  • CyberAgent, an operator of a blog media website, fell 3.3% following an announcement that Avex will raise 5.2b yen from the sale of its shares to CyberAgent
  • Perennial Energy, a coal miner based in Guizhou Province, slumped a record 69% in Hong Kong on its first trading day as a member of an index compiled by MSCI Inc.
  • Sun Pharmaceutical Industries dropped after the quarterly profit of India’s largest drugmaker was hit by a one-time charge related to an antitrust probe, while sales growth in U.S., its biggest overseas market, remained sluggish

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