Asian markets cap week with gains

<p>A positive reading on US jobs helped Asian stocks book healthy gains ahead of an official government reading into the employment situation overnight. The MSCI […]</p>

A positive reading on US jobs helped Asian stocks book healthy gains ahead of an official government reading into the employment situation overnight. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.6% at noon in Tokyo while the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.6%. Ten-year Treasury yields rose one basis point, while futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.1%. 

About five shares advanced for every three that declined on MSCI’s Asia Pacific Index, helping extend the gauge’s weekly advance to 1.9%. The measure is headed for its first three-week rally since the beginning of its recent decline April. 

In currencies, the Korean Won climbed 0.6% to 1,057.63 per dollar, after earlier reaching 1,056.65, the strongest level since August 2008. South Korea’s current-account surplus reached a seven-month high of $2.26 billion in May, according to the central bank. The Malaysian ringgit climbed 0.5% to 2.9958 per dollar.

In corporate news, China Communications Construction – the country’s biggest port builder – delayed plans to raise as much as $3bn in a Shanghai share sale amid weakness in the stock market, said Chairman Zhou Jichang. The company expects to double profit by 2015 from last year’s 9.9bn Yuan ($1.5bn), Zhou said. He also guided revenue will rise to 430bn Yuan by 2015, from 273bn in 2010.

Sun Art Retail Group – China’s largest hypermarket operator – is said to have successfully raised HK$8.2 billion selling shares at the top end of a range in a Hong Kong initial public offering, according to market reports. The Shanghai-based company, which competes with Wal-Mart Stores in China, sold shares at HK$7.20 a piece. In India, Reliance Infrastructure was supposedly in talks to sell stakes in its power transmission business, road and subway projects. 

Corporate news was slow in Australia but key names like Rio Tinto and Fortescue metals are due to announce production numbers towards the end of next week. Regional sentiment seems to have turned positive despite China and the ECB raising rates this week. 

Singapore’s state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings said it is bullish on China and seeking deals even after selling some of its stakes in two of the nation’s banks this week for $3.6 billion. “China is our largest investment destination,” said Temasek’s managing director of investments Nagi Hamiyeh. “We are still looking for opportunities in China and we are very comfortable with our position there at this time.”

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