Emerging stocks advance

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Manila - Emerging-market stocks rose as last week’s tumble in the benchmark index sent valuations to a two- month low, overshadowing a retreat in South Korean exporters.

China Petroleum & Chemical advanced the most in 10 weeks in Shanghai after the government allowed refiners to raise fuel prices.

Nedbank Group Ltd. climbed the most in two weeks in Johannesburg after saying profit gained.

Hyundai Motor Co. sank the most in a month in Seoul as the Korean won strengthened against the yen.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 0.2 percent to 1,055.08 as of 5:15 p.m. in Hong Kong.

The measure fell 1.2 percent last week and traded at 10.2 times projected 12-month profits, the lowest level since December 21.

The won rose about 0.4 percent against the yen amid speculation Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will nominate Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda as central bank governor.

A weak yen may help Japanese carmakers such as Toyota Motor Corp. compete against Hyundai Motor.

“Some investors are attracted by the decline in valuations and take the recent sell-off as a good buying window,” Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank Inc., said by phone in Manila.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 0.8 percent to a record while Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index climbed 1 percent to an all-time high.

Vietnam’s VN Index climbed 1.3 percent after a report showed inflation slowed and on speculation the central bank is accelerating measures to resolve bad debt among lenders.

China Manufacturing

Kuroda said this month there is “substantial room” for monetary easing.

China’s manufacturing is expanding at the slowest pace in four months, a private survey showed today, underscoring the headwinds faced by policy makers in the world’s second-biggest economy.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index added 0.2 percent, paring an earlier gain of 1 percent.

The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.5 percent, its first increase in three days.

Trading volumes in the Shanghai Composite were 32 percent lower than the 30-day average today, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. fell 1.7 percent while Anhui Conch Cement Co., China’s biggest producer of the building material, slumped 2 percent in Hong Kong.

Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. dropped 5 percent to the lowest since December 4.

Taiwan’s Taiex Index and South Korea’s Kospi index sank 0.5 percent.

Hyundai Motor, South Korea’s biggest automaker, fell 2.1 percent and Kia Motors Corp. slid 0.9 percent.

South Africa’s FTSE/JSE Africa All Shares Index advanced 0.5 percent, the first increase in four days.

Nedbank jumped 2.4 percent after the lender controlled by Old Mutual Plc said full- year profit rose 20 percent.

Biggest Gain

Gauges of telecommunications services and financial companies in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index advanced at least 0.4 percent, the most among 10 industry groups.

The broader measure has fallen 0.1 percent this year, compared with a 5.1 percent increase in the MSCI World Index of developed nations.

The emerging-markets index’s valuation is lower than the MSCI World’s 13.3 times projected 12-month earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Italians are voting in an election with initial estimates of the result due shortly after 3 p.m. in Rome.

China Petroleum advanced 2.7 percent, the first increase in three days, after the government allowed refiners to boost prices for the first time since September.

Gasoline will increase by 300 yuan ($48) a metric ton and diesel by 290 yuan a ton effective today, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement on its website yesterday.

Short-Selling

Citic Securities Co. rose 1 percent in Hong Kong, pacing gains for Chinese brokerages after the Shanghai Securities News said regulators will expand short-selling.

Eleven brokerages including Citic Securities and Haitong Securities Co. will be able to borrow shares in a pre-approved pool of 90 publicly traded companies, the report said over the weekend, citing China Securities Finance Corp.

MStar Semiconductor Inc. surged 6.7 percent in Taipei, the most since August 1, on speculation China antitrust authorities may approve a merger with MediaTek Inc. Shares of MediaTek rose 3.1 percent.

“There’s speculation in the market China antitrust authorities may approve the merger soon,” Wenwen Wang, an analyst at Jih Sun Securities Co., said in a phone interview from Taipei today.

“This boosted the stocks, as the merger had been delayed for some time because of their objection.”

PT Bumi Resources, Indonesia’s largest thermal coal producer, tumbled 13 percent in Jakarta, the biggest decline in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its credit rating.

Gome Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd. fell for a third day to a 10-week low in Hong Kong, sliding 5.6 percent.

The company said it’s unaware of any plan by controlling stakeholder Wong Kwong Yu to sell shares. - Bloomberg News


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