Asian stocks turn higher; Qantas shares up

<p>Asian stocks were trading higher as U.S. futures turned positive, indicating perhaps there are some signs of optimism from a possible deal between Italy and […]</p>

Asian stocks were trading higher as U.S. futures turned positive, indicating perhaps there are some signs of optimism from a possible deal between Italy and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

 

The MSCI Asia Pacific index was 2% higher in early afternoon Tokyo trading. S&P500 futures were pointing to a 1.8% rise after Friday’s loss. Around four Asian shares advanced for each that declined, capping last week’s string of losses.

 

In regional economic news, all eyes are on the pace of price consolidation in China’s main cities. Corporate profit growth among companies has slowed, according to an official bureau of statistics statement released over the weekend. Industrial companies net income was 12% higher in October, which on face value seems strong, but this is below the 27% growth rate booked in the period between January to September this year.

 

In Australian corporate news, shares in Qantas closed 3.4% higher despite the airline noting a much lower profit for the first half of 2012 compared to the same period last year. Underlying profit for the first half of 2012 will range between $140-190m despite higher fuel costs and the impact of industrial action.

 

The number is a large fall on last year’s $417m profit result for the first half but back then the share price was trading at around $2.50 and now just under $1.50 so everything should be taken into context.

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