Asian Stocks Advance for Second Day on U.S. Earnings Optimism

Jul 15, 2014 7:10 am ET

July 15 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks rose for a second day after Citigroup Inc. reported better-than-forecast profit, boosting confidence that earnings growth can sustain further gains in shares.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s largest bank, advanced 1 percent. ZTE Corp., a video-conferencing systems maker, surged 8.4 percent in Hong Kong after raising its first- half profit forecast. Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. climbed 2.3 percent in Tokyo.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.4 percent to 147.2 at 6:56 p.m. in Hong Kong as all 10 industry groups advanced. Earnings are due this week from JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Yahoo! Inc. and Intel Corp. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda today left stimulus at current levels.

“Investor sentiment improved following an above-consensus earnings result by Citigroup,” said Matthew Sherwood, Sydney- based head of investment markets research at Perpetual Ltd., which manages about $29 billion. “This sets the tone for a positive week of U.S. earnings results, which is likely to see macro data pushed to the background as investors analyze earnings delivery and guidance statements from management.”

Japan’s Topix index rose 0.7 percent. Mitsubishi UFJ gained 1 percent to 606 yen and Sumitomo Metal added 2.3 percent to 1,762 yen. The BOJ kept its record stimulus unchanged and forecast inflation will pick up to its 2 percent price target. The central bank stuck with its goal of an annual increase in the monetary base of between 60 trillion yen ($591 billion) and 70 trillion yen, as forecast by all 34 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

BOJ Survey

In a survey conducted July 3-9, 32 percent of economists forecast the BOJ will expand monetary stimulus on Oct. 31, down from 33 percent in a survey completed last month.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.5 percent, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland firms listed in the city added 0.3 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2 percent.

South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.9 percent and Taiwan’s Taiex increased 0.5 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index advanced less than 0.1 percent, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.2 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.9 percent.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index closed unchanged as the nation’s central bank reiterated it expects a period of stable interest rates as the government cuts spending and the economy transitions from mining-investment led growth.

U.S. Futures

Futures on the U.S. equity gauge lost less than 0.1 percent today after the gauge climbed 0.5 percent yesterday to 1,977.1 following Citigroup’s results.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its S&P 500 forecast for 2014 to 2,050 from 1,900, citing rising earnings and faster economic growth.

ZTE jumped 8.4 percent to HK$16.30 in Hong Kong after revising up its first-half profit forecast to a range of 1 billion yuan ($161 million) to 1.15 billion yuan, from 800 million yuan to 1 billion yuan announced in April.

Cape Lambert Resources Ltd. soared 49 percent to 11 Australian cents after the iron-ore explorer reached a settlement with the Metallurgical Corporation of China over a payment dispute.

At least 10 Japanese companies that do business with Line Corp. jumped in Tokyo trading after people familiar with the matter said the operator of Japan’s most popular mobile messaging service submitted an application for an initial public offering to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Adways Inc., the agent for Line’s “Free Coin” application, rose 13 percent to 2,035 yen. Ateam Inc., which offers entertainment content for Line, soared 16 percent to 7,140 yen. Electronic book distributor Media Do Co. jumped 11 percent to 6,040 yen.

Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co. fell 3 percent to HK$4.46 in Hong Kong after the construction-machinery maker said it expects first-half profit will plunge by about 60 percent to 70 percent from a year earlier.