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G20 stance on Japan boosts Asian stocks

by Himanshu Singh on Feb 18, 2013 at 03:31

G20 stance on Japan boosts Asian stocks

Asian markets gained on Monday in late morning trade led by Japanese stocks after the Group of 20 nations refrained from censuring the country’s policies that have weakened the yen.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.7% to 134 as of 11:08 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 2.3% and the broader Topix Index rose 2.2% after halting a 13-week run of gains last week. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to beat deflation and pushed the central bank to ease monetary policy.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 0.3%. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1% as Chinese retail sales during the week-long Lunar New Year festival increased at the slowest pace in four years.

South Korea’s Kospi Index slipped 0.1% as data showed today the nation’s producer prices fell by the most in more than three years. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.6% and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.4%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index added 0.1%.

In company news, Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker, added 2.4% as the yen fell, boosting the earnings prospects for Japanese exporters.

Li & Fung Ltd., a supplier of toys and clothes to Wal-Mart Stores Inc., shed 1% =in Hong Kong as the US retailer had the worst sales start to a month in seven years.

BlueScope Steel Ltd. surged 14% after Australia’s largest steelmaker reported a smaller net loss.

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