Asian stocks bounce back from recent losses

<p>Asian stocks bounced from recent lows, booking gains for the first time in seven days. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 2.3% in late afternoon […]</p>

Asian stocks bounced from recent lows, booking gains for the first time in seven days. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 2.3% in late afternoon Tokyo trading as global equities rebounded from a nine-day, $7.8 trillion rout. Euro Stoxx 50 futures jumped 1.4%, while Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slid 0.1%. Treasury 10-year yields firmed four basis points.

More than three shares rose for every one that retreated on MSCI’s Asia index, helping the gauge halt a six-day, 13% slump. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 1.1% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped 2.8%. South Korea’s Kospi Index advanced 0.3% after the government yesterday banned short selling for three months and the two biggest state- run pension funds said they may boost equity investments.

In Australian corporate news, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) reported A$6.84bn in annual cash earnings, slightly exceeding market estimates. A full year fully franked dividend of $3.20 will make shareholders very happy, particularly in the absence of high yielding quality investments outside of stocks. With bond yields falling, bank’s dividend yields are becoming hard to dismiss. Elsewhere, Westfield Group (WDC) announced a A$440m deal which will see it pick up a 50% interest in three existing Brazilian shopping centres, two new centres and a pipeline of future development in what is perhaps one of the most attractive retail markets globally.

In currencies, Australia’s dollar slid 0.1% to $1.034. The currency, which fell yesterday below parity with the U.S. dollar since March, erased earlier gains of as much as 0.6% after a Westpac Banking Corp. and Melbourne Institute survey showed consumer confidence slumped this month to its lowest in more than two years.

In commodity markets, base metals pared some of their recent losses on the London Metal Exchange, with three- month delivery copper climbing as much as 3.1% to $9,005 a ton. The contract sank to an eight-month low yesterday. Nickel and zinc both increased more than 3% to $21,899 a ton and $2,176.75 a ton, respectively.

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