Asia Stocks Outside Japan Rise as Technology Shares Lead Gains

Jul 21, 2014 4:13 am ET

July 21 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks rose following a global rebound after the downing of a passenger jet in Ukraine and Israel’s invasion of Gaza roiled markets. Technology shares led the advance.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., an assembler of Apple Inc.’s iPhones, climbed 2.8 percent in Taipei as technology firms gained the most among the regional gauge’s industry groups. Woori Investment & Securities Co. rose 3.4 percent in Seoul for an eighth day of gains. China Coal Energy Co., the nation’s second-largest producer, sank 1.2 percent in Hong Kong after saying it expects profit will drop.

The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index climbed 0.1 percent to 500.19 as of 4:03 p.m. in Hong Kong. Markets were closed in Japan for a holiday. Earnings reports from Canon Inc. to Fanuc Corp. in Japan to Coca-Cola Co. and Apple Inc. in the U.S. are due this week after better-than estimated sales at Google Inc. spurred a rebound in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index on July 18.

“Global earnings are continuing to improve on the back of gradually improving economic growth, monetary conditions are set to remain easy for some time and there is no sign of the euphoria that comes with major share market tops,” said Shane Oliver, a Sydney-based global strategist at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which oversees about $131 billion. “Any short- term dip in shares should be seen as a buying opportunity as the broad trend is likely to remain up.”

The S&P 500 closed last week near a record high and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which includes Japan, this month reached the highest level since June 2008 as economic reports showed Chinese growth is stabilizing and earnings at Citigroup Inc. and Intel Corp. buoyed investor optimism.

Regional Gauges

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.2 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.1 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index and Taiwan’s Taiex index increased 0.4 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex Index gained 0.4 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 0.3 percent. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland Chinese stocks traded in the city and the Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.8 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index closed little changed.

The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index traded at 13 times estimated earnings at the last close compared with 16.6 for the S&P 500, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Futures on the S&P 500 retreated 0.3 percent after the U.S. equities benchmark index rebounded 1 percent July 18 from a 1.2 percent decline the previous day, the largest drop in three months.

Putin Pressure

Russian President Vladimir Putin is facing intensified international pressure to respond to claims that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed using a missile system supplied by his nation’s military.

Circumstantial evidence suggests that Russia provided the missile that Ukrainian rebels used to shoot down the jetliner on July 17, killing 298 passengers and crew, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in television interviews.

Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza entered its bloodiest phase yet as militants killed 13 soldiers and fighting in one neighborhood claimed the lives of dozens of Palestinians. The conflict is escalating after two weeks of fighting, which began with rockets launched from Gaza and Israeli war planes pummeling the coastal territory.

Hon Hai gained 2.8 percent to NT$110.50. Profit margins can grow in the next few quarters, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst Gokul Hariharan, who named the firm a top pick among large hardware companies in a report yesterday.

Woori Investment added 3.4 percent to 10,300 won, posting its longest rising streak since 2002. Tongyang Securities named the financial-services company as a top pick for the second half of the year, estimating profit will climb to about 115 billion won ($112 million) by next year following its merger with NH Investment, according to a report today.

China Coal slid 1.2 percent to HK$4.07 after saying it expects first-half net-income will drop as much as 75 percent from a year earlier on lower prices and sluggish demand.