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Asian Stocks Gain on Europe Central Bank Bond-Buying Plan

08 Aug 2012

Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index headed for its highest close in three months, after Germany backed the European Central Bank’s bond-buying plan, boosting the outlook for exporters.

Esprit Holdings Ltd. (330), a clothier that counts Europe as its largest market, gained 28 percent in Hong Kong after it named a new chief executive officer. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest miner, rose 0.5 percent in Sydney on increasing metal prices. Toshiba Corp., which makes semiconductors and parts for nuclear reactors, advanced 3.5 percent in Tokyo after it was raised to outperform at CLSA Asia Pacific Markets. Japanese utilities gained as they rebounded from last month’s plunge.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) rose 0.6 percent to 119.84 as of 7:41 p.m. in Tokyo, with about five stocks rising for every two that that fell on the measure, which is headed for its highest close since May 9.

“Investors are hoping that Spain won’t request a full bailout,” said Stan Shamu, a market strategist at IG Markets Ltd. in Melbourne, a provider of trading services in stocks, bonds and commodities. “That would clear the way for the ECB to buy bonds in the secondary market. That’s still the main issue.”

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average (NKY) rose 0.9 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi Index added 0.1 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.4 percent as the nation’s central bank keptinterest rates unchanged today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.6 percent.