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April 10, 2013, 4:15 a.m. EDT

Most Asia markets gain after China data

Solid growth in Chinese imports helps spur resource shares

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By V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Most Asian markets advanced Wednesday, with a rise in commodity prices and a surge in Chinese imports boosting resource stocks, while Japanese shares get support from the weak yen.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.39%  rose 0.7% to 13,288.13, a closing level it hasn’t seen since Aug. 12, 2008.

South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -1.49%  and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -1.09%  added 0.8% each and Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.3%.

China’s Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 -0.06%  ended flat after a choppy trading session, but largely unmoved by Fitch Ratings’ downgrade on Tuesday of the country’s local-currency debt ratings.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.33% eased 0.2%.

Click to Play

A rush to sell gold in Japan

The weak yen has triggered a gold rush, literally, in Japan as families sell items to take advantage of prices that have soared in yen terms.

Commodity producers were bolstered by monthly Chinese data showing a strong growth in imports, although the rate of increase in exports slowed, leading to a surprise trade deficit for March.

The growth in imports “indicates that domestic consumption is showing signs of rising, which is in line with the central government’s policy and would be good for China long-term,” said Kim Eng Securities director for sales Andrew Sullivan.

In Japan, steel maker JFE Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204336633/delayed JP:5411 -0.18% /zigman2/quotes/203557603/delayed JFEEF -20.06% climbed 4.1% and commodities trader Marubeni Corp. /zigman2/quotes/210513544/delayed MARUY -0.69%   /zigman2/quotes/202870197/delayed JP:8002 -0.09%  rose 4.3%, while in Seoul, shares of steel major Posco /zigman2/quotes/209201002/composite PKX -1.53%   /zigman2/quotes/201759282/delayed KR:005490 -1.86%  gained 2.6%.

In Sydney, BHP Billiton Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP -0.45%   /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -0.78%  and Rio Tinto Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO -0.46%   /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO +0.79%  advanced 1.7% and 2.7%, respectively, despite the broader market’s weakness, after data showing a rebound in Chinese iron-ore imports in March from a decline in the first two months of the year.

In Hong Kong, Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202960704/delayed HK:2600 +0.44% /zigman2/quotes/210453246/delayed CN:601600 0.00% /zigman2/quotes/208051344/composite ACH +1.23%  climbed 3.1%, and Jiangxi Copper Co. /zigman2/quotes/201668148/delayed HK:358 -1.24%   /zigman2/quotes/201334192/delayed CN:600362 +0.13%   /zigman2/quotes/204256025/delayed JIXAY -2.94%  rose 1.1%, while in Shanghai, they rose 5.6% and 1.1%, respectively.


Reuters

The broad advances followed a higher finish on Wall Street overnight, with the Dow industrials /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.78%  ending at a record-high level. But some analysts raised concerns over U.S. earnings growth — a key driver for sentiment in global markets.

“The current U.S. reporting season is set to be a modest one ... with over 100 companies of the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.05%  having already provided negative guidance for the first quarter,” said Perpetual head of investment market research Matthew Sherwood.

“Firms with exposure to the deterioration in Europe, the slowing in Asia and the U.S. dollar’s strength can expect some further downside risk to their numbers,” he said.

U.S. equity index futures were higher by late afternoon in Hong Kong, with Dow Jones Industrial Average futures up 30 points, or 0.2%, at 14,640.

Gains in Japan came amid expectations the U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.4906% may soon cross the 100-yen level despite the pair’s inability to cross over the threshold Tuesday.

“We believe that it will only be a matter of time before this level is taken out,” said BK Asset Management managing director Kathy Lien.

A survey by the Nikkei newspaper, showing that two-thirds of corporate leaders expect business to improve because of the yen’s recent movements, also aided sentiment.

Among stocks sensitive to currency movements, Toyota Motor Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed JP:7203 +1.10%   /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM -0.05%  added 1.1%, Canon Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207639533/delayed JP:7751 -0.41%   /zigman2/quotes/210242912/composite CAJ -1.32%  climbed 2% and Komatsu Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204002437/delayed JP:6301 -0.74%   /zigman2/quotes/206435044/delayed KMTUF -1.64%  gained 1.7%.

Among banks, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207520099/delayed JP:8306 +0.62%  jumped 5%, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203656770/delayed JP:8316 +0.08%   /zigman2/quotes/206471416/composite SMFG -0.59%  soared 6.7%.

However, shares of banks and retailers retreated in Sydney after data showing that consumer sentiment weakened in April.

Among the blue chips, National Australia Bank Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/210431826/delayed AU:NAB +0.04% /zigman2/quotes/208329321/delayed NABZY -0.30%  slipped 0.7%, and Woolworths Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/209906204/delayed AU:WOW -0.34% /zigman2/quotes/208623225/delayed WOLWF +1.17%  slid 1.1%.

Shares of sportswear maker Billabong International Ltd.  plunged 26.7% after the firm said it was in talks with a private-equity consortium over a takeover bid that was 45% below previous indicative offers.

/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
23,386.74
-92.41 -0.39%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 21, 2020 3:15p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,162.84
-32.66 -1.49%
Volume: 635,474
Feb. 21, 2020 3:33p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
27,308.81
-300.35 -1.09%
Volume: 1.77M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:08p
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/zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed
CN : China: Shenzhen
¥ 15.58
-0.01 -0.06%
Volume: 99.51M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
11.14
Dividend Yield
1.40%
Market Cap
¥302.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥6.12M
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/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
7,139.00
-23.50 -0.33%
Volume: 1.07M
Feb. 21, 2020 5:17p
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/zigman2/quotes/204336633/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,106.00
-2.00 -0.18%
Volume: 3.83M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.44
Dividend Yield
1.81%
Market Cap
¥638.04 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥64.46M
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/zigman2/quotes/203557603/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 10.00
-2.51 -20.06%
Volume: 7,645
Feb. 21, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
9.49
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$5.76 billion
Rev. per Employee
$583,723
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210513544/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 71.50
-0.50 -0.69%
Volume: 174.00
Feb. 21, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
8.84
Dividend Yield
3.63%
Market Cap
$12.22 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.64M
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/zigman2/quotes/202870197/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 788.80
-0.70 -0.09%
Volume: 4.22M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
8.96
Dividend Yield
4.44%
Market Cap
¥1370.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥181.19M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209201002/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 43.63
-0.68 -1.53%
Volume: 122,213
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
18.21
Dividend Yield
4.39%
Market Cap
$14.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201759282/delayed
KR : S. Korea: KRX
211,500
-4,000 -1.86%
Volume: 217,235
Feb. 21, 2020 3:30p
P/E Ratio
18.64
Dividend Yield
4.73%
Market Cap
₩17264.90 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 50.41
-0.23 -0.45%
Volume: 2.10M
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
14.84
Dividend Yield
5.28%
Market Cap
$74.56 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 38.22
-0.30 -0.78%
Volume: 4.79M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
14.30
Dividend Yield
5.67%
Market Cap
$194.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 97.69
-0.45 -0.46%
Volume: 914,264
Feb. 21, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
8.90
Dividend Yield
9.18%
Market Cap
$159.35 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.14M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 54.62
+0.43 +0.79%
Volume: 2.57M
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
6.94
Dividend Yield
6.06%
Market Cap
$68.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$852,406
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202960704/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 2.30
+0.01 +0.44%
Volume: 21.75M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
319.44
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
HK$38.98 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$3.03M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210453246/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 3.23
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 68.13M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
587.27
Dividend Yield
0.35%
Market Cap
¥54.98 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥2.53M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208051344/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 7.39
+0.09 +1.23%
Volume: 39,435
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
325.55
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
$387,394
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201668148/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 9.55
-0.12 -1.24%
Volume: 6.27M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
11.75
Dividend Yield
2.38%
Market Cap
HK$33.48 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$12.12M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201334192/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 14.91
+0.02 +0.13%
Volume: 36.93M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
20.92
Dividend Yield
1.34%
Market Cap
¥51.56 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥10.12M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204256025/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 51.90
-1.57 -2.94%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 12, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
33.52
Dividend Yield
1.97%
Market Cap
$17.24 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.55M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
28,992.41
-227.57 -0.78%
Volume: 313.44M
Feb. 21, 2020 5:16p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,337.75
-35.48 -1.05%
Volume: 2.12B
Feb. 21, 2020 5:16p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
111.5550
-0.5500 -0.4906%
Volume: 0.0000
Feb. 21, 2020 4:59p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 7,837.00
+85.00 +1.10%
Volume: 5.15M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.06
Dividend Yield
2.81%
Market Cap
¥21916.10 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥81.43M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 139.04
-0.07 -0.05%
Volume: 150,574
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
8.76
Dividend Yield
2.56%
Market Cap
$196.64 billion
Rev. per Employee
$737,463
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207639533/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,776.00
-11.50 -0.41%
Volume: 2.99M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
18.20
Dividend Yield
5.76%
Market Cap
¥2965.43 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥19.98M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210242912/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 24.67
-0.33 -1.32%
Volume: 229,684
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
17.91
Dividend Yield
5.09%
Market Cap
$26.60 billion
Rev. per Employee
$180,925
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204002437/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,283.00
-17.00 -0.74%
Volume: 3.69M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
10.39
Dividend Yield
4.82%
Market Cap
¥2172.10 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥45.51M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206435044/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 21.61
-0.36 -1.64%
Volume: 520.00
Feb. 21, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
10.74
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$19.38 billion
Rev. per Employee
$412,180
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207520099/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 566.30
+3.50 +0.62%
Volume: 39.99M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
12.55
Dividend Yield
4.41%
Market Cap
¥7178.43 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥50.52M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203656770/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 3,754.00
+3.00 +0.08%
Volume: 5.16M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
7.41
Dividend Yield
4.79%
Market Cap
¥5136.86 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥79.40M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206471416/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 6.69
-0.04 -0.59%
Volume: 874,963
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
7.18
Dividend Yield
4.23%
Market Cap
$46.08 billion
Rev. per Employee
$719,197
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210431826/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 27.41
+0.01 +0.04%
Volume: 5.26M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
16.73
Dividend Yield
6.06%
Market Cap
$78.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.00M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208329321/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 9.03
-0.03 -0.30%
Volume: 91,836
Feb. 21, 2020 3:52p
P/E Ratio
15.64
Dividend Yield
6.17%
Market Cap
$52.22 billion
Rev. per Employee
$761,598
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209906204/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 43.45
-0.15 -0.34%
Volume: 1.54M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
35.57
Dividend Yield
2.35%
Market Cap
$54.69 billion
Rev. per Employee
$284,703
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208623225/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 28.92
+0.34 +1.17%
Volume: 400.00
Feb. 21, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
33.01
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$36.11 billion
Rev. per Employee
$212,439
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Varahabhotla Phani Kumar is a reporter in MarketWatch's Hong Kong bureau. Follow him on Twitter @MktwKumar.

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