Asian Stocks Rise on U.S. Mortgage Aid, Higher Retail Sales
Asian stocks rose, led by banks and consumer companies, on speculation the U.S. will provide relief for homeowners and after retail sales in the world’s biggest economy unexpectedly increased.
Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., Australia’s third largest, jumped 7.1 percent in Sydney as the country’s senate passed a $28 billion stimulus package. Hitachi Ltd. added 3.1 percent as the company and its partners were named the preferred group to win a U.K. train contract. Rio Tinto Ltd., the world’s No. 3 mining company, fell 3.9 percent on concern the sale of assets to Aluminum Corp. of China will hurt profits.
“Reports that the U.S. is coming out with a support package for the housing market demonstrates the government’s drive to bring about an economic recovery,” said Kiyoshi Ishigane, a Tokyo-based senior strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Asset Management Co., which oversees about $61 billion. “The market is headed for a rebound if policies are effective.”
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.8 percent to 81.82 at 11:07 a.m. in Tokyo, snapping a four-day, 2.7 percent drop. The gauge has lost 8.9 percent this year, extending 2008’s record 43 percent, as the credit crisis dragged the world’s biggest economies into recession.