Asian markets ahead for a second week

By Shani Raja (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-09-13 08:30
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SYDNEY - Asian stocks rose for a second consecutive week as employment reports in the US and Australia spurred optimism global growth will regain traction.

Canon Inc, which gets more than a quarter of its sales from the Americas, gained 5.6 percent in Tokyo. Toyota Motor Corp, the world's largest automaker, rose 1.4 percent. National Australia Bank Ltd rallied 2.4 percent in Sydney on speculation it won't need to raise capital to finance a takeover. SM Prime Holdings Inc, the Philippines' biggest shopping mall operator, jumped 9.5 percent as export growth boosted optimism in the nation's economy.

"The question you should ask yourselves is what could go right from here, rather than what could go wrong," said Paul Xiradis, who manages about $10 billion as chief executive officer of Ausbil Dexia Ltd in Sydney. "We could see a big swing-around back into some riskier assets, and, given the positioning of the market, it could be quite powerful."

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 1.5 percent to 121.8 over the past five days, extending last week's 2.7 percent gain, which was spurred by reports that showed growth in US and Chinese manufacturing. The gauge has climbed 0.25 percent from a one-month low on Aug 25 on optimism the US economy will avoid slipping back into recession.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 1.4 percent in the week. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3 percent and South Korea's Kospi Index climbed 1.3 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.4 percent as Prime Minister Julia Gillard won support from independent lawmakers to form a government following the closest national election in 70 years.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 1.4 percent. A Cabinet Office report on Sept 10 showed gross domestic product grew at an annualized 1.5 percent rate in the three months ending June 30, faster than the 0.4 percent reported last month.

Asian markets ahead for a second week

A US government report on Sept 3 showed private payrolls climbed by 67,000 in August, more than the median forecast in a Bloomberg economist survey. A separate report on Sept 9 showed weekly initial claims for unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest since July 9.

Canon climbed 5.6 percent to 3,750 yen, while Toyota gained 1.4 percent to 2,951 yen. Elpida Memory Inc, the world's third-biggest maker of computer-memory chips, jumped 3.6 percent to 983 yen as Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co rated the stock "strong outperform" in new coverage.

James Hardie Industries SE, the biggest seller of home siding in the US, rose 7.4 percent to A$5.79 in Sydney.

"The jobs data put the brakes on pessimism that the global economy is moving into a recession," said Yoji Takeda, who helps manage about $1.1 billion at RBC Investment (Asia) Ltd in Hong Kong. "The market's mood is improving. Some investors are becoming more bullish."

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