By V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Most Asian stocks rose Monday on hopes the Federal Reserve may delay paring its bond purchases, with mainland Chinese shares jumping on some positive corporate results and reassuring comments on the country’s economic growth.
The Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.30% jumped 1.9% for its best percentage gain in two weeks to lead the region’s advance. The gains came after Xinhua news service and Reuters cited a National Bureau of Statistics spokesman as saying the country will achieve its growth target of 7.5% for this year, and were aided by better-than-expected results from some Chinese firms.
Stocks ended higher on Wall Street Friday as disappointing July home sales fueled hopes the Fed may not announce a reduction in the pace of its $85 billion-a-month in asset purchases from next month, as many feared. Such hopes helped lift prices of crude-oil and gold futures on Friday, which translated into stock gains for the resources sector in Asia on Monday.
“The theme of ‘bad news is good news,’ again rang true on Friday night with U.S. stocks ending higher, despite less-than-forecast new-home sales data,” said Rivkin Securities analyst Tim Radford.
“With tapering concerns off the agenda until we get close to the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting late September, reduced market anxiety may see [Australian] prices trend higher back toward all-time highs, as investors again look to buy the dips,” he said.
Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +2.32% rose 0.7%, South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.76% gained 1% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.53% advanced 0.2%, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.18% slid 0.2%.
Mitul Kotecha, Crédit Agricole head of global markets research in Asia, said clarity was unlikely to emerge this week after mixed messages on the monetary-policy outlook from officials at the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole symposium in the U.S.
“However, a pullback in core bond yields from recent highs will likely contribute to a calmer tone to markets at the turn of the week and some further near-term retracement in a positive direction for risk assets,” Kotecha said.
In Asian stock trading Monday, shares of gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203840223/delayed AU:NCM +0.75% /zigman2/quotes/206026738/delayed NCMGF +1.67% jumped 4.9% and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/209270359/delayed AU:KCN +0.60% /zigman2/quotes/205153395/delayed KSKGF +6.09% rallied 6% in Sydney. Korea Zinc Co. /zigman2/quotes/202765860/delayed KR:010130 -0.33% rose 5.3% in Seoul, while Zijin Mining Group Co. /zigman2/quotes/204517000/delayed HK:2899 +5.43% /zigman2/quotes/203833875/delayed CN:601899 +2.81% /zigman2/quotes/209836076/delayed ZIJMF +5.22% added 1.6% in Hong Kong and 2.4% in Shanghai.
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Among energy producers, Inpex Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed JP:1605 -1.45% /zigman2/quotes/207958170/delayed IPXHY -1.24% gained 0.5% in Tokyo, and PetroChina Co. /zigman2/quotes/204979431/delayed HK:857 +0.29% /zigman2/quotes/206980083/delayed CN:601857 -0.19% advanced 1.8% in Hong Kong and 1% in Shanghai, while Santos Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/207349564/delayed AU:STO -0.42% rose 1.2% in Sydney.
Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. declined 1.1% as the stock traded without rights to a dividend.
Shares of China Construction Bank Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208974133/delayed HK:939 +0.42% /zigman2/quotes/208058581/delayed CN:601939 -0.36% /zigman2/quotes/207732534/delayed CICHY +0.13% rose 0.7% in Hong Kong and 0.9% in Shanghai after the lender over the weekend reported a 13% increase in first-half profit from the year-ago period.
Refining giant China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. /zigman2/quotes/202085942/delayed HK:386 +1.37% /zigman2/quotes/207158391/delayed CN:600028 -0.44% added 1.9% in Hong Kong and 1.6% in Shanghai following a 24% rise in its half-yearly profit.
Coal miner China Shenhua Energy Co.’s /zigman2/quotes/206065610/delayed HK:1088 +1.57% /zigman2/quotes/202621923/delayed CN:601088 +0.03% /zigman2/quotes/206839995/delayed CSUAY +0.61% stock rose 3.7% in Hong Kong and 1.9% in Shanghai, even as its half-yearly profit fell from the year-ago period.
On the downside, shares of BYD Co. /zigman2/quotes/206867707/delayed HK:1211 +1.03% /zigman2/quotes/206767010/delayed BYDDY -2.14% plunged 11.8% in Hong Kong despite a sharp increase in half-yearly profit, after the Chinese battery and car maker said it expects a weak third-quarter performance. Billionaire Warren Buffett owns an interest in the company.
/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HSI 19,900.87, +450.64, +2.32%
Japanese real-estate developers gained in Tokyo after the Nikkei business daily reported Friday the local housing market was showing signs of strength due to government stimulus and purchases ahead of an expected consumption-tax hike in April.
Shares of Mitsui Fudosan Co. /zigman2/quotes/205394574/delayed JP:8801 +0.57% /zigman2/quotes/204977526/delayed MTSFY +0.41% and Mitsubishi Estate Co. /zigman2/quotes/208910776/delayed JP:8802 +0.68% /zigman2/quotes/204837054/delayed MITEY +0.58% added 1% each among developers.
Resona Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203178794/delayed JP:8308 -0.65% /zigman2/quotes/201424788/delayed RSNHF -4.71% rose 0.8% on news the lender had requested the government’s deposit-insurance agency to dispose of its shares in the bank as a “part of the progress in its repayment of public funds.”
However, broader market gains were capped as the U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.1617% remained under the 99-yen level.
Among major exporters, Suzuki Motor Co. /zigman2/quotes/201794956/delayed JP:7269 -1.21% /zigman2/quotes/201304995/delayed SZKMY -1.44% fell 1.9%, and Sharp Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200401218/delayed SHCAY +1.10% /zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed JP:6753 +0.98% fell 1.2%.