Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index extending its advance from a five-month high, amid speculation the Federal Reserve will delay stimulus cuts.
Canon Inc., the world’s biggest camera maker, gained 1.1 percent as a weaker yen boosted the earnings outlook for Japanese exporters. Naver Corp. advanced 5 percent to a record in Seoul after KB Investment & Securities Co. raised its price target for the Internet company. Qantas Airways Ltd. slipped 4.6 percent, extending losses for a second day, after Australia’s largest carrier said last week it expects the lowest yields in more than a decade for passenger flights.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.2 percent to 143.76 as of 12:10 p.m. in Tokyo, with about five shares rising for every three that fell. The gauge climbed 1.8 percent last week after China’s economic growth accelerated and as investors shifted their focus from the resolution of the U.S. fiscal showdown to the timeline for the Fed reducing bond buying.
“The market will continue to rally based on improving economic fundamentals and a potential delay in tapering of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus,” Angus Gluskie, managing director at White Funds Management Ltd. in Sydney, where he helps oversee about $550 million, said by telephone. “While the U.S. government still needs to do more work on the debt issue and their budget, we’re going into 2014 with the likelihood of synchronized recovery in Europe, Asia and the U.S.”
Japan’s Topix index advanced 0.4 percent. The country’s exports rose 11.5 percent in September from a year earlier, according to a government report today. That was less than a median 15.6 percent growth estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said today Japan’s economy will sustain a moderate recovery. Policy makers will maintain accommodative monetary policy until inflation reaches 2 percent, Kuroda said at the central bank’s branch manager meeting in Tokyo.
New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index climbed 0.9 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) rose 0.6. Singapore’s Straits Times Index added 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and China’s Shanghai Composite Index both advanced 0.6 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.1 percent, while Taiwan’s Taiex index lost 0.3 percent.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 3.6 percent this month through Oct. 18 as the U.S. Congress voted to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. The gauge traded at 13.8 times estimated earnings, compared with 15.8 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 14.7 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
S&P 500 futures added 0.1 percent today. The U.S. equity gauge gained 0.7 percent to a record on Oct. 18 as results from Google Inc. and General Electric Co. topped estimates.
Payrolls data due tomorrow in the U.S. will probably show employers added 180,000 workers in September, the most since April, after a 169,000 gain in August, according to the median estimate of 93 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The Labor Department report, originally due Oct. 4, was delayed by the Oct. 1-Oct. 17 partial government shutdown.
The Fed won’t taper its bond-purchasing program until March next year because the shutdown probably slowed fourth-quarter U.S. growth and also interrupted the flow of data, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey. The monthly pace of asset buying will be pared to $70 billion from $85 billion at the Fed’s March 18-19 meeting, the median of 40 estimates shows.