Asian Stocks Advance for 10th Day as Syria Tensions Ease

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Asian stocks rose, extending the longest rally in the benchmark index this year, as the President Barack Obama pulled the U.S. from the brink of a military strike against Syria.

Rio Tinto Group, (RIO) the world’s second-biggest mining company, gained 1.7 percent after copper futures climbed in Sydney. Yakult Honsha Co., a maker of fermented milk products, climbed 2.9 percent in Tokyo after JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its rating to overweight. Inpex Corp., Japan’s biggest energy explorer, sank 2.6 percent after crude oil fell as prospects for a diplomatic solution over Syria eased concern shipments from the Middle East will be disrupted.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.2 percent to 137.45 as of 10:50 a.m. in Tokyo, rising for a 10th day and on course for its highest close since May 29. The gauge’s 14-day relative strength index, an indicator of trading momentum, rose to 67, near a threshold of 70 that signals to analyst shares may have risen too far.

“People are starting to not panic as much with Syria.” George Boubouras, Melbourne-based chief investment officer at Equity Trustees Ltd., where he helps oversee about $28 billion, said by telephone. “The pulse is picking up for manufacturing globally. We are fully invested and have a tactical overweight to global equities.”

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 6.2 percent in the nine days through yesterday as factory output in China accelerated to a 17-month high. Obama said in a live broadcast from Washington today that he had asked Congress to delay a vote authorizing the use of military force while pursuing a diplomatic solution that would have Syria surrender its chemical weapons.

Regional Gauges

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) of mainland Chinese companies traded in Hong Kong increased 0.3 percent, taking its gains since a June 25 low to 21 percent and extending what some investors consider a bull market, amid signs the world’s second-largest economy is rebounding. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.2 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.4 percent.

Japan’s Topix index and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index both advanced 0.4 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index and South Korea’s Kospi index each fell 0.1 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex index lost 0.2 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index slipped 0.1 percent.

The Topix index surged 38 percent this year through yesterday, with Japanese equities performing the best among developed markets tracked by Bloomberg. Shares have jumped amid optimism Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan can lead the country out of deflation with stimulus and reforms.

U.S. Futures

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The equity gauge advanced 0.7 percent in New York yesterday, extending gains for a sixth day, as reports showed the Chinese economy is improving and amid signs of easing tensions over Syria.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 6 percent this year through yesterday. Shares on the Asia-Pacific gauge traded at 13.4 times estimated earnings, compared with 15.2 times for the S&P 500 Index and 14.1 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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