Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index climbing to a five-month high, amid speculation the Federal Reserve will delay stimulus cuts.
Canon Inc., the world’s biggest camera maker, gained 1.4 percent as a weaker yen boosted the earnings outlook for Japanese exporters. Tencent Holdings Inc. jumped to a record in Hong Kong, pacing gains among Internet companies after industry bellwether Google Inc.’s ad sales topped estimates. Qantas Airways Ltd. slipped 5.6 percent, falling a second day after Australia’s largest carrier said last week it expects the lowest yields for passenger flights in more than a decade.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.2 percent to 143.71 at 7:26 p.m. in Tokyo as almost two shares rose for every one that fell. The gauge climbed 1.8 percent last week after China’s economic growth accelerated and as investors shifted their focus from the resolution of the U.S. fiscal showdown to the timeline for the Fed reducing bond buying.
“The market will continue to rally based on improving economic fundamentals and a potential delay in tapering of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus,” Angus Gluskie, managing director at White Funds Management Ltd. in Sydney where he helps oversee about $550 million, said by telephone. “While the U.S. government still needs to do more work on the debt issue and their budget, we’re going into 2014 with the likelihood of synchronized recovery in Europe, Asia and the U.S.”
Japan’s Topix index advanced 0.6 percent. The nation’s exports rose 11.5 percent in September from a year earlier, according to a government data today, missing the 15.6 percent estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said today the economy will sustain a moderate recovery. Policy makers will maintain accommodative monetary policy until inflation reaches 2 percent, Kuroda said at the central bank’s branch manager meeting in Tokyo.
New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index climbed 0.9 percent to a record, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.6 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index added 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.4 percent, and China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1.6 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index closed little changed, while Taiwan’s Taiex Index lost 0.3 percent.
S&P 500 futures added less than 0.1 percent today. The U.S. equity gauge rose 0.7 percent to a record on Oct. 18 as results from Google and General Electric Co. topped estimates.
A U.S. Labor Department report due tomorrow will probably show employers added 180,000 workers in September, the most since April, after a 169,000 gain in August, according to the median estimate of 93 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The Labor Department report, originally due Oct. 4, was delayed by the Oct. 1-Oct. 17 partial government shutdown.
The Fed won’t taper its bond-purchasing program until March next year because the shutdown probably slowed fourth-quarter U.S. growth and also interrupted the flow of data, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey. The monthly pace of asset buying will be pared to $70 billion from $85 billion at the Fed’s March 18-19 meeting, the median of 40 estimates shows.
Japanese exporters advanced as the yen fell 0.4 percent against the U.S. dollar. A weaker yen boosts the overseas income of the nation’s electronics manufacturers when repatriated.
Canon climbed 1.4 percent to 3,185 yen. Panasonic Corp., Japan’s second-biggest television maker, added 0.9 percent to 949 yen. Advantest Corp., a maker of semiconductor equipment, gained 1.5 percent to 1,247 yen.
Internet companies rallied as Google shares surpassed $1,000 for the first time after reporting third-quarter sales and profit that beat estimates and amid optimism about new advertising for wireless devices and online video. Barclays Plc said it expects Chinese Internet companies to post strong results in the three months ended September.
Tencent, the mainland’s biggest Internet company, gained 4.2 percent to HK$447.80, its highest price on record. SoftBank Corp., which holds a stake of about 37 percent in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s largest e-commerce firm, gained 2.8 percent to 7,480 yen in Tokyo.
Naver Corp., a South Korean provider of online games, climbed 3.9 percent to a record close of 665,000 won in Seoul. KB Investment & Securities Co. raised its price target for the company and maintained its buy rating.
Sands China Ltd., the Macau casino operator controlled by billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, gained 2.9 percent to a record close of HK$59.70. The shares climbed for a second day, after last week reporting third-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates.
Among stocks that fell, Qantas slipped 5.6 percent to A$1.35, completing its biggest two-day loss since June 2012. Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said he expects group yield, a measure of earnings for each kilometer flown by a passenger, to fall by 2 percent to 3 percent in the six months through December from a year earlier.
--Editors: Jim Powell, John McCluskey