Asian stocks rose, lifting the MSCI Asia-Pacific Index to a two-week high. Sony Corp., an electronics maker that derives 22 percent of its sales from the U.S., rose 2.2 percent in Tokyo. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. gained 2.7 percent in Hong Kong with its plan to merge its bank unit with Shenzhen Development Bank Co. GS Yuasa Corp., a Japanese car battery maker, gained 5.7 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded the stock. Jiangxi Copper Co. gained 2.8 percent in Hong Kong as commodity prices advanced.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1 percent to 119.26 in Tokyo, the highest level since Aug. 19. The gauge advanced 1.3 percent yesterday after reports showed China’s manufacturing and Australia’s gross domestic product grew faster than the estimates that the economists have projected.
“The U.S. manufacturing data served to allay fears of a double-dip recession,” said Tim Schroeders, who helps manage about $1 billion at Pengana Capital Ltd. in Melbourne. “Yesterday’s manufacturing report out of China was better than expected and Australia’s buoyant GDP data also served to build investor confidence.”
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 1.5 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.2 percent and Taiwan’s Taiex Index climbed 0.7 percent. South Korea’s Kospi Index rose 0.6 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index increased 1.3 percent as automakers advanced on higher car sales.
Sony rose 2.2 percent to 2,427 yen. In Sydney, James Hardie Industries SE, the biggest seller of home siding in the U.S., gained 0.6 percent to A$5.28, while Billabong International Ltd., the world’s biggest publicly traded surfwear maker, climbed 2.2 percent to A$7.88.