Asian stocks rise as better economic data offset oil price rise concerns

March 6, 2011 - 0:0
Asian stocks rose this week as better-than-estimated economic data from South Korea to the U.S. eased concern about surging oil prices following tension in North Africa and the Middle East. Doosan Infracore Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. climbed more than 5 percent in Seoul after industrial production in South Korea quickened. Komatsu Ltd., Asia’s No. 1 maker of construction machinery, jumped 9.3 percent in Tokyo on the prospects for home building in China. Yahoo Japan Corp. increased 3.1 percent in Tokyo on speculation Yahoo! Inc. is in talks to sell its stake in the web portal. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 1.9 percent to 139.41 this week. The gauge dropped 2.1 percent last week on concern higher oil prices following uprisings in Libya and the Middle East will slow a global economic recovery. “There’s been a tug of war between the strong economy on the one side and higher oil prices and the unrest in the Middle East on the other, but the positive news is increasing,” said Koichi Kurose, chief strategist in Tokyo at Resona Bank Ltd., which oversees the equivalent of $57 billion in assets. “The U.S. is gradually approaching a self-sustaining recovery.” Japan’s Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average increased 1.6 percent this week, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.6 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1.8 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.2 percent. South Korea’s Kospi Index (KOSPI) advanced 2.1 percent as factory output rose 13.7 percent in January from a year earlier, topping economist forecasts. (Source: Bloomberg)