HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Most Asian markets advanced Tuesday on continued hopes for policy easing from major global central banks and some positive earnings reports, with Japanese and Hong Kong stocks among those clinching a fourth straight day of gains.
“People are still hopeful that there might be some stimulus,” said Andrew Sullivan, principal sales trader at Piper Jaffray, referring to expectations from the monetary policy meetings of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank later this week.
South Korea led the region’s gains as the Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.27% jumped 2.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.32% climbed 1.1%, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.51% rose 0.7% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +1.51% climbed 0.6%.
Each of the four benchmarks rose for a fourth consecutive trading day.
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Defying the regional trend for the second time this week, China’s Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 +0.46% dropped 0.3% to 2,103.63, finishing at its worst level since March 2009.
“The worrying thing is the number of profit warnings from Chinese companies. They are really feeling the impact from the global slowdown,” said Sullivan.
The performance capped a mixed month for regional markets. China’s Shanghai Composite was the worst performer among major benchmarks, dropping 5.5% in July, and was followed by a 3.5% decline for the Nikkei.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 4.3%, the Hang Seng Index climbed 1.8% and the Kospi added 1.5% during the month.
Earnings reports and expectations were among the drivers for the Japanese market Tuesday.
Panasonic Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201785256/delayed JP:6752 +0.39% jumped 4.6% after the Nikkei newspaper reported that it will likely swing back to profit in the April-June quarter, with group net income estimated at ¥10 billion, compared to a ¥30.3 billion loss in the year-earlier period. Read more on Panasonic’s earnings outlook.
Tech and industrial conglomerate Hitachi Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203839937/delayed JP:6501 +1.12% /zigman2/quotes/203416411/composite HTHIF -1.96% rose 2% after reporting its quarterly profit more than doubled from the year-earlier period to 7 billion yen ($89.2 million). Read more on Hitachi earnings.
Renesas Electronics Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203872935/delayed JP:6723 +2.18% soared 16.4% after another Nikkei report that Hitachi will provide it with ¥17.5 billion of financing. Hitachi holds a major stake in Renesas.
/zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed SHCOMP 3,219.42, -3.76, -0.12%
Going in the opposite direction, shares of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203656770/delayed JP:8316 +0.68% /zigman2/quotes/206471416/composite SMFG +0.34% slipped 0.6% at the end of a choppy session, after the lender posted a 43% drop in profit. Read more on Sumitomo Mitsui earnings.