Asia Stocks Rise, Led by Japan Shares, Amid BOJ Head Speculation
Asian stocks rose on Monday, extending last week’s advance, as Japanese shares led gains on speculation the next Bank of Japan governor will deploy aggressive monetary easing.
The Jakarta Composite Index climbed 0.97 percent, adding 44.98 points to close at 4,696.11.
A total of 6.02 billion shares valued at Rp 5.67 trillion ($584 million) were traded on Monday, according to Bloomberg data, and advancers beat decliners 153 to 134.
Hong Kong developers fell after the city doubled taxes on some property transactions. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. jumped 13 percent, pacing gains among Japanese shippers after industry leader A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S said global container demand will accelerate.
Beach Energy Ltd. rose 6 percent in Sydney after Chevron Corp. agreed to partner with the energy company on gas exploration.
Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. dropped 5.5 percent after two people familiar with investment talks between the firm and Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group said they’ll probably end March 26 without an agreement.
Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. fell 2.3 percent, pacing declines among Hong Kong developers.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent to 133.97 as of 2:01 p.m. in Tokyo after adding 0.5 percent last week. About five stocks gained for each that three fell on the measure.
Shares pared increases in Shanghai after a private survey showed China’s manufacturing may expand this month at a slower pace.
Investors also are awaiting Italian election results on Monday.
“Reports on the BOJ are clearly signaling the central bank is ready to ease aggressively,” said Kazuyuki Terao, Tokyo-based chief investment officer of Allianz Global Investors Japan Co., part of Allianz Global Investors that oversees about 302 billion euros ($398 billion).
“Things are positive for Japanese stocks, but you want to bear in mind that you may see overseas uncertainty increase depending on the outcome of the Italian election.”
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 9.5 percent from the end of October through Feb. 22 as Japanese shares rallied on speculation the new government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will press for more stimulus to beat deflation.
Asia’s benchmark traded at 14.8 times estimated earnings compared with 13.7 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 12.4 for the Stoxx Europe 600, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Japan’s Topix Index, the country’s broadest equity measure, advanced 1.6 percent as the yen fell to the lowest since May 2010 versus dollar after Kyodo news service reported that Abe is preparing to nominate Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda as BOJ governor.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average jumped 2 percent, headed for its highest close since September 2008.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.7 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index climbed 0.3 percent. South Korea’s Kospi Index fell 0.2 percent.
China Manufacturing Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was little changed. China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3 percent, paring gains of as much as 1.1 percent, after the preliminary reading of a Purchasing Managers’ Index on China’s manufacturing was 50.4 in February, according to a statement from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics on Monday.
That compares with the 52.3 final reading for January and the 52.2 median estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. A number above 50 indicates expansion.
Japanese exporters rose as the yen dropped to its lowest level in 2 1/2 years against the dollar, weakening to 94.77. Japan’s central bank has “really substantial room” for further loosening and additional measures could be justified this year, Kuroda said in a Feb. 11 interview, signaling that he may embrace stronger stimulus.
Toyota Motor Corp., a carmaker that gets a quarter of its sales in North America, climbed 1.6 percent to 4,805 yen. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Japan’s No. 3 shipper, soared 13 percent to 206 yen. Nippon Yusen K.K., the No. 1, jumped 4.6 percent to 230 yen.
Beach Energy advanced 6 percent to A$1.37 in Sydney after Chevron Corp., the second-largest U.S. energy company, agreed to pay as much as $349 million to join the explorer in a natural- gas campaign in central Australia. It is Chevron’s first shale investment in the country.
Italian Election Futures on the S&P 500 dropped 0.1 percent on Monday. The gauge rose 0.9 percent in New York on Feb. 22 as German business confidence jumped to a 10-month high and earnings from Hewlett-Packard Co. and American International Group Inc. topped estimates.
In Europe, Italians are voting in an election, with initial estimates of the result due shortly after 3 p.m. in Rome on Monday.
Sharp slumped 5.5 percent to 293 yen in Tokyo as its negotiations with Foxconn haven’t led to a deal partly because the companies can’t agree on a price after Sharp’s shares declined, said one of the two people familiar with the matter, both of whom asked not to be named because the talks are private.
Hong Kong developers fell as residential property sales in the city dropped after sales tax was doubled on property costing more than HK$2 million ($258,000), according to Midland Holdings Ltd., the city’s biggest publicly traded realtor.
Sun Hung Kai Properties slid 2.3 percent to HK$116.60. Sino Land Co. lost 1.8 percent to HK$13.32. Among stocks that rose, Alumina Ltd. gained 3 percent to A$1.22 in Sydney after its rating was raised to neutral from underperform at Credit Suisse Group AG.