Asian stocks rose for a third day, copper gained and the Australian dollar strengthened as Chinese manufacturing expanded. U.S. stock-index futures advanced and crude fell as prospects of an imminent strike on Syria faded.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.6 percent at 11:23 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix Index added 0.7 percent and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPA) futures rose 0.4 percent. Copper snapped a four-day decline, while silver rallied 1.5 percent. The Aussie strengthened 0.7 percent versus the dollar. West Texas Intermediate crude oil sank 1.4 percent.
China’s economy is strengthening after a two-quarter slowdown, with a manufacturing gauge rising to a 16-month high in August. Data today may show euro region factory output maintained growth in August. India’s slowest economic expansion since 2009 adds pressure on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to stem a slide in the rupee. In the U.S., where markets are closed today, President Barack Obama delayed action against Syria by seeking approval from Congress.
“Growth expectations globally continue to improve,” Michael Kurtz, Hong Kong-based chief global equity strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest brokerage, said in an e-mail. “An ongoing rebalancing in China keeps growth there largely on a moderating trend.”
More than two stocks rose for each that fell on MSCI’s Asian gauge, with financial and energy companies leading gains. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.8 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.7 percent.
China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index was at 51.0, an official report showed yesterday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey was for a reading of 50.6. A separate manufacturing PMI released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics rose to 50.1 last month from 47.7 in July, the biggest gain in three years and the first reading above 50 since April.
The Australian Industry Group’s performance of manufacturing index rose to 46.4 in August, from 42 in July, figures today showed. The Reserve Bank of Australia will keep the cash rate target at 2.5 percent tomorrow, according to a Bloomberg survey.