Asia Stocks Rise, Heading for Biggest Three-Week Gain Since 2009

Asian stocks rose for a third day, with the regional index on course for its biggest three week advance since 2009, as Japanese banks surged and materials shares climbed.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1.3 percent to 125.13 as of 5:12 p.m. in Tokyo, trading at the highest levels since January and extending its three-week advance to more than 10 percent. Japan’s Topix index added 1.4 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed 0.4 percent higher Wednesday, reversing a 0.5 percent decline. A private report on U.S. payrolls showed companies added more workers than economists projected last month. Traders will be watching U.S. monthly employment data Friday for clues as to the pace of interest rate hikes.

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The payrolls report from ADP Research Institute followed data Tuesday that signaled manufacturing in the world’s biggest economy was steadying. Citigroup Inc.’s U.S. Economic Surprise Index, which measures whether data beats or misses estimates, has risen to its highest level since November. Futures on the S&P 500 slipped 0.2 percent after the benchmark measure closed at the highest level in two months.

Source : Bloomberg

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Japan Stocks Fall as Yen Heads for Best Weekly Gain Since 2009

Stocks fell in Tokyo for a fourth day to cap a weekly loss that saw the Topix index hand back all of its gains following the Bank of Japan’s stimulus boost. Exporters dropped after the yen rallied.

The Topix lost 1.4 percent to 1,368.97 at the close in Tokyo to finish the week 4.4 percent lower. It jumped 5.1 percent in two days after the BOJ introduced negative interest rates last Friday. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 1.3 percent to 16,819.59. The yen traded at 116.84 per dollar, poised to post its biggest weekly advance since 2009. Investors are awaiting Friday’s U.S. monthly payrolls report after data showed factory orders fell in December.

All but nine of the 33 Topix industry groups declined, led by real-estate companies and lenders.

Source : Bloomberg

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