Asia Stocks Rise on China Services; Investors Watch U.S.


Asian stocks rose after a gauge of China’s services industries jumped to a six-month high and as investors watched for progress on ending a budget impasse that has shut down the U.S. government.

Sands China Ltd., a unit of billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas casino company, advanced 3.2 percent after its equity rating was raised at DBS Vickers Hong Kong Ltd. China Huishan Dairy Holdings Co. jumped 7.9 percent in Hong Kong. Leighton Holdings Ltd., an Australian developer, slumped 9.6 percent after saying it’s unaware of any new allegations or ethics breaches in a statement responding to newspaper reports.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.5 percent to 139.30 as of 1:24 p.m. in Tokyo, with all 10 industry groups on the measure rising.

“Investor sentiment is holding well,” Benjamin Tam, a Hong Kong-based portfolio manager at IG Investment Ltd., which oversees about $1.5 billion, said by telephone. “People are still optimistic about China’s economy. Having said that, we are waiting on results of fiscal talks in the U.S., which is the biggest uncertainty.”

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 1 percent as data showed China’s non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index climbed in September to 55.4 from 53.9 in August, adding to signs that the world’s second-biggest economy will sustain a rebound after a two-quarter slowdown. Financial markets in China are closed for holidays until Oct. 8. South Korea’s market is also closed today.

Regional Gauges

Japan’s Topix index gained 0.1 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.8 percent, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed. Singapore’s Straits Times Index slipped 0.1 percent and Taiwan’s Taiex index jumped 1.7 percent.

Futures on the S&P 500 lost 0.1 percent today after the measure slipped 0.1 percent yesterday. The U.S. government has been in partial shutdown for two days after lawmakers failed to agree on a federal budget. President Barack Obama summoned the top four leaders of Congress to the White House for the first high-level talks on reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling.

Obama’s meeting with Congress leaders “is something he should’ve done weeks ago, but it is a positive development,‘‘ Matthew Sherwood, head of investment markets research in Sydney at Perpetual Investments, which manages about $25 billion, said by telephone. ‘‘Investors have been factoring the shutdown in progressively and what they haven’t factored in yet is delaying the resolution to the debt ceiling, and so my expectation is that volatility will pick up.’’

Relative Value

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rallied 6.4 percent in September, the biggest monthly advance since January 2012. The measure traded at 13.4 times estimated earnings as of yesterday, compared with 15.3 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 14.1 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Japan’s Topix climbed 37 percent this year through yesterday, the most among developed markets, amid optimism Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan can lead the country out of deflation through unprecedented monetary easing.


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