Asian stocks rose, pushing the benchmark index to a five-month high, and emerging-market currencies gained with copper after China’s economic growth quickened. U.S. equity-index futures climbed as Google Inc. sales topped estimates.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.2 percent to at 1:48 p.m. in Tokyo as Australian stocks headed for the highest close in five years. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) futures added 0.2 percent after the measure closed at a record high in New York. South Korea’s won reached the strongest in nine months as the Chinese yuan rose to a 20-year high. Copper futures in London climbed 0.2 percent, extending biggest weekly gain in a month.
China’s gross domestic product expanded 7.8 percent last quarter, official data showed today, matching the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists and halting a two-quarter slowdown. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said yesterday the U.S. shouldn’t reduce stimulus after some reports stopped during a 16-day government shutdown.
“China’s economic growth is stabilizing and that added more confidence into markets going into next year,” said Caroline Maurer, a Singapore-based fund manager at Henderson Global Investors, which oversees $110 billion of assets. “We are also likely to see some impact to the U.S. fourth-quarter data because of the shutdown, which could mean any Fed tapering is likely to be put off a bit later.”
Other government reports in China showed industrial production increased 10.2 percent in September versus 10.4 percent a year earlier, and retail sales jumped 13.3 percent versus 13.4 percent.
About five stocks rose for every three that fell as the MSCI’s Asian index reached 142.97, the highest level since May 23. The gauge’s 1.4 percent advance this week is the most in a month with all 10 industry groups posting gains.
Sands China Ltd. jumped 8.2 percent in Hong Kong after the Macau casino operator controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson reported earnings that beat analyst estimates. Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd., China’s top producer of the metal, climbed 0.5 percent in Shanghai.
JFE Holdings Inc. slumped 3.6 percent in Tokyo after Credit Suisse Group AG cut its recommendation to neutral. Hyundai Motor Co. fell 3.2 percent in Seoul after Korea Automotive Research Institute said competition for the carmaker will intensify in overseas markets next year.
China’s yuan strengthened for a fifth day, adding 0.1 percent to 6.0930 per dollar, according to China Foreign Exchange Trade System.
The won strengthened as much as 0.2 percent to 1,059.80 per dollar, a level not seen since January. Japan’s currency slid 0.1 percent to 98.02 a dollar. Standard & Poor’s affirmed its AA- rating on Japan with a negative outlook.
The 10-year Treasury yield was little changed at 2.60 percent (USGG10YR), after sliding 14 basis points in the previous two days to the lowest level in 10 weeks amid speculation the Fed will delay cutting back on stimulus.
“The data available in September were inconclusive, and since then, incoming information has been silenced with the federal government shutdown,” the Chicago Fed’s Evans said in a prepared speech in Madison, Wisconsin yesterday.
Gains in the S&P 500 futures suggest the gauge will add to yesterday’s 0.7 percent rally. President Barack Obama signed a bill yesterday to reopen the government through Jan. 15 and extend its borrowing authority to Feb. 7 next year.
General Electric Co., Honeywell International Inc. and Morgan Stanley are among 18 S&P-listed companies scheduled to report earnings today. Google rose 8.2 percent in after-hours trading in New York after third-quarter sales exceeded analysts’ estimate. Among 87 companies that have reported quarterly results so far, 72 percent exceeded profit estimates while 57 percent beat sales projections.
Copper in London traded as high as $7,259 a ton, while West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 0.1 percent to $100.81 per barrel. Aluminum increased 0.3 percent.