Asian Stocks Gain as Yen Drops on Olympics; Metals Rise

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Asian stocks rose, with Japan’s benchmark index reaching a one-month high, and the yen weakened after Tokyo was selected to host the 2020 Olympics. Metals rallied and the won gained on improving Chinese exports and easing concerns over a reduction in U.S. stimulus.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.8 percent by 11:06 a.m. in Hong Kong, rising for an eighth day. Japan’s Topix Index (TPX) jumped 1.7 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index surged 2.6 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) futures added 0.3 percent. South Korea’s won and the Malaysian ringgit strengthened more than 0.4 percent, while the yen sank 0.4 percent to 99.55 per dollar. Copper rose a second day.

The Olympics will spur construction and help overcome deflation, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said yesterday, before data today showed the economy expanded more than initially estimated. Chinese exports grew more than economists projected last month, while a smaller-than-expected increase in U.S. nonfarm payrolls alleviated concern over the potential size of Federal Reserve stimulus reductions.

“There’s expectations the Olympics is going to support Japan’s economic recovery,” said Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Tokyo-based Monex Inc. “The gain in gross domestic product is going to be an added catalyst.”

Tokyo’s winning bid boosted optimism in Abe policies that have helped weaken the yen 13 percent this year. The currency depreciated 0.4 percent to 131.16 per euro. The economy expanded 3.8 percent from a year earlier in the second quarter, higher than an initial estimate of 2.6 percent though below the median projection in a Bloomberg survey of 3.9 percent.

Mitsubishi Estate Co. jumped 4.7 percent as Japan’s biggest developer may benefit from Olympic projects.

Chinese Exports

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index jumped 1.9 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index headed for its highest level since June 7 after customs figures showed yesterday Chinese exports rose 7.2 percent in August from a year earlier, beating the median estimate of a 5.5 percent gain in a Bloomberg survey.

Ping An Bank Co. jumped 8.3 percent after it said it plans to sell 14.8 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) of stock to its controlling shareholder. Cosco Shipping Co. surged at least 9 percent for a second day after media reported foreign investors may be allowed to take bigger stakes in shipping joint ventures in the Shanghai free-trade zone. CSR Corp. climbed the most in six weeks after its unit won an order for high-speed trains.

“Investors are getting more confident about the economic data,” said Mao Sheng, an analyst for Huaxi Securities Co. in Chengdu. “Stocks will be steadily rising for the rest of the year.”

Australian Election

Australia’s S&P ASX 200 index gained 0.7 percent. The yield on 10-year Australian government bonds fell for the first time since Aug. 30, dropping four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 4.09 percent.

Tony Abbott, leader of the Liberal-National coalition, will be Australia’s new prime minister after emerging victorious from the Sept. 7 vote. Abbott campaigned on scrapping the nation’s carbon pricing system and mining tax, saying their abolition would boost an economy dependent on China, Australia’s biggest trading partner.

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, added 0.9 percent in Sydney.

The Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against 10 major peers, rose 0.1 percent today. The gauge fell 0.7 percent Sept. 6, bringing its weekly drop to 0.3 percent, the first decline in four weeks. The won strengthened to 1,088.52 per dollar, set for the strongest close since May, while the ringgit gained 0.5 percent to 3.3126 a dollar.

The number of workers on U.S. payrolls rose by 169,000 last month, less than the 180,000 median forecast of economists surveyed. The Fed will cut Treasury purchases to $35 billion from $45 billion after a Sept. 17-18 meeting, while maintaining mortgage-bond buying at $40 billion, according to the median of 34 responses in a Bloomberg survey released on Sept. 6.

Copper on the London Metal Exchange gained 0.8 percent. Zinc climbed 0.3 percent, while lead advanced 0.7 percent. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.2 percent to $110.33 a barrel, while futures on gasoline lost 0.3 percent.

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