Asian Stocks Outside Japan Advance; Topix Drops on Stronger Yen

Apr 09, 2014 6:20 am ET

April 9 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks outside Japan rose to their highest level in five months. Japanese equities slid after the yen yesterday strengthened the most since August.

David Jones Ltd., Australia’s biggest department store by market value, surged 23 percent after agreeing to a takeover offer from South African retail chain Woolworths Holdings Ltd. Nissan Motor Co., which gets about 79 percent of its sales outside Japan, slid 2.6 percent. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. retreated 5.5 percent in Tokyo as the world’s largest merchant- fleet operator sells convertible bonds.

The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index gained 1 percent to 482.73 at 6:05 p.m. in Hong Kong. More than two shares climbed for every one that dropped as the benchmark climbed to its highest level since October. It has risen for the past two weeks as U.S. data pointed to an economy recovering from severe winter weather and China outlined stimulus to ward off a slowdown.

“Below the surface, the global recovery is actually stronger than most investors perceive it to be,” Thomas Thygesen, head of cross-asset strategy at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB, which has $213 billion in assets under management, told Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong. “There’s a clear sign that China is moving away from the credit tightening that was a big source of the growth uncertainty at the beginning of the year. That’s one of the keys to keeping the global economy on track this year.”

Regional Gauges

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 1.1 percent and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland stocks traded in the city rose 0.6 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex index added 0.5 percent, South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.3 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index climbed 0.7 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index advanced 0.2 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index increased 1 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex Index climbed 1.6 percent, halting a three-day drop.

Japan’s Topix index slid 2.1 percent as the yen traded at 102.11 per dollar, dragging exporters lower. The currency strengthened 1.3 percent yesterday to touch a three-week high. Nissan Motor retreated 2.6 percent to 908 yen and Canon Inc. declined 1 percent to 3,137 yen.

Toyota Motor Corp. slid 3.1 percent to 5,450 yen, extending declines after the world’s largest automaker said it would recall more than 6 million vehicles. Toyota, which isn’t aware of any injuries or fatalities, said it’s recalling the vehicles for issues ranging from spiral cables to seat rails and engine starters.

Mitsui O.S.K slipped 5.5 percent to 376 yen after the cargo transporter said it’s selling about $500 million in convertible bonds to raise funds for capital expenditure.

David Jones soared 23 percent to A$3.91 in Sydney after the retailer agreed to a takeover that values the business at A$2.15 billion ($2 billion). Rival Myer Holdings Ltd., which last year had an offer for David Jones turned down, climbed 3.9 percent to A$2.39.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which includes Japan, fell 0.2 percent to 138.35.

Stronger U.S. growth this year and next will help the world economy withstand weaker recoveries in emerging markets including Brazil and Russia, the International Monetary Fund said in a report yesterday. The IMF predicted global growth of 3.6 percent this year, compared with a January estimate of 3.7 percent. Next year, the expansion will accelerate to 3.9 percent, unchanged from the prior forecast.

S&P 500 futures were little changed today. U.S. stocks rose yesterday, with the Nasdaq 100 Index rebounding from its worst three-day drop since 2011, as technology shares from Google Inc. to Facebook Inc. rallied.