Global Markets: Asian shares rise

Nov 22 2012, 10:56 IST
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SummaryAsian shares rose as a survey showed China's manufacturing sector expanded first time in 13 months.

Asian shares rose on Thursday as a survey showed China's manufacturing sector expanded for the first time in 13 months in November, adding to optimism after firm U.S. factory data that the global growth slowdown may have turned a corner. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan extended early gains to rise 0.8 percent to a one-week high.

Regional equities markets had already been buoyed by recovering risk appetite on easing tension in the Middle East and hopes that a Greece bailout will be agreed next week.Resources-sensitive Australian shares surged 1.3 percent to a one-week high as miners climbed.

London copper rose 0.5 percent to $7,732.75 a tonne while spot gold inched up 0.2 percent to $1,731.34 an ounce.

The China HSBC Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to a 13-month high of 50.4 in November, indicating factory activity was picking up and pointing to a reviving economic growth after seven consecutive quarters of slowing. A sub-index measuring output rose to 51.3, also the highest since October 2011.

"The data suggests the China's growth had hit a bottom in the third quarter and prospects are brightening for small and medium-sized firms in China," said Naohiro Niimura, a partner at research and consulting firm Market Risk Advisory.

While the report is positive, the rise in prices of base metals, for which China is the world's top consumer, will be contained given the high level of Chinese inventories, he said.

"But shares get a boost because they are driven by sentiment and because contained base metal prices under an improving economy will help companies boost their earnings," Niimura said.

Japan's Nikkei stock average jumped 1.2 percent to a 6-1/2-month high as exporters were lifted by hopes the weakening yen would boost their earnings.

The yen has come under pressure since the Japanese government announced a Dec. 16 election last week.

The opposition Liberal Democratic Party, which is tipped to win, on Wednesday promised a big extra budget and a policy accord with the central bank on aggressive monetary stimulus to prevent the economy from sliding into recession.

The yen fell to a 7-1/2-month low versus the dollar of 82.59 on Thursday, while the yen also hit a 6-1/2-month low of 106.26 yen against the euro.

"Yen, I think, is being driven by anticipation of LDP led government forcing aggressive monetary easing," said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.

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