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Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) — Most Asian stocks rose as a U.S. manufacturing report added to optimism the global economic recovery will accelerate. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures fell and oil retreated from a three-month high.The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index gained 0.1 per cent as of 8:42 a.m. in Hong Kong. S&P 500 futures dropped 0.2 per cent after the underlying index rallied the most in a year yesterday. Crude in New York lost 0.4 per cent to $92.74 after closing at the highest level since September. New Zealand’s dollar weakened 0.2 per cent against the greenback.
An industry report showed American manufacturing expanded more than forecast in December, as commodities and equities worldwide rallied yesterday after Congress passed a bill undoing tax increases for most U.S. households. Markets in mainland China and Japan are closed today for public holidays.
“We expect growth to accelerate through 2013,” said Gerard Minack, a global strategist at Morgan Stanley in Sydney. Asia’s “recovery isn’t as tethered to policy makers and structural headwinds,” he said.
More than two stocks advanced for each one that fell in the MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index, with material producers leading gains. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.6 per cent, poised for the highest close since May 2011. South Korea’s Kospi Index was little changed.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which includes companies from Japan, advanced 14 per cent last year, compared with a 13 per cent increase for the S&P 500. The Asian gauge trades at 15 times average estimated earnings, compared with 14.1 for the U.S. gauge and 12.9 times for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. factory index rose to 50.7 in December from 49.5 a month earlier, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said yesterday. Economists in a Bloomberg survey had projected a reading of 50.5. The dividing line between expansion and contraction is 50.
–Chua Baizhen and Adam Haigh. Editors: Darren Boey, Richard Frost
To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Chua Baizhen in Singapore at [email protected]; Adam Haigh in Sydney at [email protected]
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at [email protected]