Asian Stocks Advance to Seven-Month High on China Manufacturing

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 December, 2012, 10:16am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 December, 2012, 10:16am

Asian stocks gained, with the regional benchmark index heading for its highest close in seven months, after China’s official manufacturing index expanded last month, underscoring optimism the world’s second-largest economy is recovering after a seven-quarter slowdown.

Komatsu Ltd., a Japanese maker of construction equipment that gets about 14 per cent of sales from China, rose 1 per cent. Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s biggest carmaker, climbed 1.8 per cent after saying US vehicle sales increased last month.

Allmine Group Ltd. jumped 22 per cent in Sydney after the Wall Street Journal reported engineering services firm Civmec Ltd. is in talks to buy the company that maintains mining and industrial machines.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.3 per cent to 125 as of 9:25 a.m. in Tokyo, poised for its highest close since April 30. Markets in Hong Kong and China have yet to open.

More than three shares rose for every two that fell on the gauge. The measure advanced last week amid optimism U.S. lawmakers would agree on a budget deal that will help avert a so-called fiscal cliff and as the front-runner to be Japan’s next prime minister repeated calls for stimulus.

“The improving China manufacturing data is a good start to the week,” said George Boubouras, Melbourne-based head of investment strategy at UBS AG’s Australian wealth management unit. The Swiss bank has about US$1.5 trillion under management. “China activity is approaching a more upbeat level and the hard landing scenario is well behind.”