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Industrial sector boosts Asian stocks

Industrial sector boosts Asian stocks

Asian shares surged on Tuesday for a fourth day after overnight comments from the European Central Bank chief heightened expectations of easing steps in the eurozone.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) added 0.2% to 142 as of 9:40 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix (TPX) index added 0.6% as the yen was little changed at 101.93 per dollar. South Korea’s Kospi index lost 0.4%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index both slid 0.1%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.2%, while the Shanghai Composite Index slid 0.1%. Taiwan’s Taiex index and Singapore’s Straits Times Index both added 0.1%.

ECB chief Mario Draghi yesterday continued to hint at coming measures, saying the ECB must be "particularly watchful" for any negative price spiral in the euro zone, and that "more pre-emptive action may be warranted".

In company news, Daum Communications Corp. surged 15% in Seoul after it agreed to be bought by Kakao Corp., South Korea’s largest mobile messaging service.

ALS Ltd. jumped 6.8%, the most on the regional benchmark index, after the Australian testing services company’s sales beat estimates.

CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd. slumped 5.3% in Hong Kong, the steepest drop on the pan-Asian gauge, after a holder agreed to sell shares in the drugmaker at a discount.

China State Construction Engineering Corp., the nation’s biggest builder by market value, yesterday said it plans to raise as much as 30 billion yuan ($4.8 billion) selling preferred shares to boost working capital for infrastructure projects.

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