Chinese manufacturing cools as copper and oil snap three days of gains

<p>Asian stocks continued rising, sending the regional benchmark index to its longest winning-streak since February. Optimism surrounding Greece and a strong US manufacturing figure also […]</p>

Asian stocks continued rising, sending the regional benchmark index to its longest winning-streak since February. Optimism surrounding Greece and a strong US manufacturing figure also helped regional markets to push higher.

In China, a leading manufacturing index fell to the lowest level since February 2009, signaling that the world’s second-biggest economy is cooling as export demand weakens and the government reins in credit to control inflation.

Meanwhile the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.3% to 135.44 at noon in Tokyo, set for its highest close since June 1. About seven stocks rose for every four that dropped on the measure. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.5% after the country’s largest manufacturers said they plan to boost capital spending this fiscal year at almost twice the pace forecast by economists. South Korea’s Kospi Index climbed 1%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.6%.

In corporate news, Taiwan’s smartphone manufacturer HTC Corp – which gets about half its sales from US markets – increased 2.8% to NT$993. The maker of handsets that run Google’s Android operating system yesterday said it’s ‘on track’ to meet its second-quarter guidance. Shares fell earlier this week amid speculation that the company would miss a shipment target. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group – Japan’s largest publicly traded bank – rose 1.5% in Tokyo while Toyota Motor, still the world’s No. 1 carmaker by market value, gained 0.9%. Samsung Electronics which generates about 42% of sales from the US and Europe, increased 2.5% in Seoul.

Following the Chinese data, Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index slid 0.8% at noon in Tokyo as copper and oil in New York snapped three days of gains. Corn sank 4.9%. The Aussie slid 0.2%, the kiwi fell 0.3%, and the dollar rose 0.2% to 80.73 yen. Crude for August delivery decreased 0.8% to $94.69 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, trimming the biggest weekly gain in twelve 12 weeks, after OPEC increased output and the US prepared to start releasing emergency stockpiles, signaling supplies are ample.

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