Asian Stocks Extend Quarterly Gain as Technology Shares Rise

Jun 30, 2014 7:48 am ET

June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks rose, with the regional index posting the biggest quarterly rally since September, as technology shares gained.

Innolux Corp., a Taiwanese maker of monitors, soared 6.9 percent to lead gains in the information technology sector. China Telecom Corp., an Internet and phone services provider, rose 1.6 percent in Hong Kong after being approved for a mixed fourth-generation network trial. Acom Co. surged 16 percent in Tokyo on a report that the Japanese government drafted a review of consumer finance regulations to let approved lenders charge higher interest rates.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent to 145.6 as of 7:42 p.m. in Hong Kong, with seven of its 10 industry groups advancing. The gauge has gained 5.5 percent this quarter and 2.7 percent in June for a second month of gains. Data on Chinese manufacturing and the Bank of Japan’s survey on business sentiment are due tomorrow.

“The market remains on a solid footing,” said Junya Naruse, chief strategist at Daiwa Securities Group Inc. in Tokyo. “The market’s focus has shifted from monetary stimulus to corporate fundamentals. Investors are buying shares on good economic reports.”

Japan’s Topix index gained 0.8 percent as the nation’s industrial production expanded 0.5 percent in May from April, when it shrank 2.8 percent, a report showed today. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 0.9 percent increase. The government projects production will decrease 0.7 percent in June and increase 1.5 percent in July.

Regional Gauges

South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.7 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.9 percent, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell less than 0.1 percent.

Taiwan’s Taiex index added 0.9 percent, while Singapore’s Straits Times Index slid 0.5 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.1 percent. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland stocks traded in the city climbed 0.3 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6 percent. India S&P BSE Sensex Index surged 1.3 percent.

China’s official gauge of factory activity will climb to 51 in June from 50.8 in May, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The final reading of a purchasing managers’ index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics is expected to rise to 50.8 from 49.4 in May. Levels above 50 indicate expansion.

Technology Shares

A MSCI gauge tracking information technology shares advanced 1 percent, the most among the 10 industry groups on the MSCI Asia Pacific measure. Innolux soared 6.9 percent to NT$14. Pegatron Corp., a maker of computers and game consoles, jumped 6.3 percent to NT$57.

China Telecom gained 1.6 percent to HK$3.79 after the company and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. were approved for the network trial. China Unicom advanced 0.8 percent to HK$11.98.

Acom soared 16 percent to 482 yen after Jiji reported on the review of consumer finance regulations. Other Japanese consumer lenders gained. Aiful Corp. surged 11 percent to 653 yen. Orient Corp. gained 3.8 percent to 273 yen.

Nitori Holdings Co., which operates a furniture retail chain, surged 4.7 percent to 5,540 yen in Tokyo after reporting its first-quarter operating profit was 22 billion yen ($217 million), compared with the 20.8 billion yen median estimate of analysts.

Among stocks that fell, Qantas Airways Ltd., Australia’s largest airline, declined 5.6 percent to A$1.26 after saying its yields will be the lowest since 1999 amid competition.

U.S. Market

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The measure gained 0.2 percent on June 27 as equities reversed losses in the final hour of trading amid Russell Investments’ annual revisions to its benchmark indexes.

Russell’s U.S. stock indexes, including the Russell 1000 Index and the Russell 2000 Index, are used as benchmark gauges for $5.2 trillion in assets, according to the company’s website. In the previous two years, the reconstitution day ranked in the top two busiest trading sessions, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The Asia-Pacific gauge traded at 13.3 times estimated earnings as of June 27 compared with 16.6 for the S&P 500 and 15.3 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.