Asian Stocks Gain as Brokerages Surge in Hong Kong; NSK Climbs

Apr 10, 2014 6:32 am ET

April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks rose as brokerages trading in Hong Kong climbed after China announced plans to link bourses in the city and Shanghai, outweighing an unexpected fall in exports from the region’s biggest economy.

Citic Securities Co. surged 9.2 percent in Hong Kong, pushing a gauge of Chinese shares listed in the city to a three- month high. NSK Ltd. gained 3.6 percent in Tokyo after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. advised buying shares of the bearings maker. Toyota Motor Corp. slid 2.4 percent, extending yesterday’s slump after recalling more than 6 million vehicles.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.6 percent to 139.23 as of 6:29 p.m. in Hong Kong, with nine of 10 industry groups advancing. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, also known as the H-share index, earlier fell as much as 1.5 percent after the trade report before rebounding after China Premier Li Keqiang said the exchanges in the two cities will connect to improve development of capital markets in China.

“The headline Chinese export number was disappointing,” said Nader Naeimi, Sydney-based head of dynamic asset allocation at AMP Capital, which manages $131 billion. “But the devil is in the detail and exports to the developed world were quite encouraging, supporting the view that we are coming out of a soft patch for global growth.”

China’s customs administration said shipments from the nation declined 6.6 percent from a year earlier, compared with the median estimate for a 4.8 percent increase in a Bloomberg News survey of 47 economists. Imports fell 11.3 percent, leaving a trade surplus of $7.71 billion.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 1.5 percent, while the H- share index rose 0.4 percent after reversing losses. China’s Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.4 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.2 percent.

Chinese Brokerages

Brokerages traded in Hong Kong surged after Li said China plans to create conditions that will link the stock exchanges in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Citic Securities advanced 9.2 percent to HK$18.84. Haitong Securities Co. rose 7.5 percent to HK$12.04, the most since November. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. shares were suspended pending a statement on connectivity.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index trades at 12.5 times estimated earnings, compared with 16 for the S&P 500 and 14.6 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Topix, Kospi

Japan’s Topix index slipped 0.1 percent. NSK advanced 3.6 percent to 1,083 yen. Toyota declined 2.4 percent to 5,321 yen after slumping 3.1 percent yesterday, when the world’s biggest carmaker recalled more than 6 million vehicles for potential safety hazards. The carmaker said it wasn’t aware of any injuries or fatalities linked to the defects.

South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.5 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3 percent after a report showing the nation’s jobless rate unexpectedly fell in March. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.9 percent.

Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index plunged 3.2 percent after elections. Joko Widodo, leader of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P, took 19.7 percent of the vote in polls held yesterday, based on an unofficial tally compiled by Lingkaran Survei Indonesia. That’s below the threshold required for a presidential candidate to stand alone.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures dropped 0.2 percent today. The equity measure climbed 1.1 percent yesterday following the Fed minutes and as technology shares extended their rebound.

The Fed played down forecasts by some of its own policy makers that rates may rise faster than previously projected after comments last month from Chair Janet Yellen fueled bets for higher borrowing costs as soon as mid-2015.