Asian Stocks Rise

Asian stocks rose for the first time in three days, led by bank and technology shares, as Japan and Australia widened efforts to revive economic growth., Bloomberg 2/3/2009 5:26:30 AM

Commonwealth Bank of Australia soared 9.8 percent in Sydney after saying profit will beat analysts’ estimates and as the government announced $26.5 billion in extra spending. Advantest Corp. rose 2.5 percent in Tokyo, while Hynix Semiconductor Inc. added 2.4 percent as chip prices rose the most since November 2007. Mitsui O.S.K Lines Ltd. led gains among shipping companies after cargo rates climbed for the 10th day.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.4 percent to 81.56 as of 7:29 p.m. in Tokyo, with five stocks advancing for every four that fell. The gauge is down 9 percent this year amid mounting signs the global recession is pummeling corporate profits.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.4 percent to a two- month high amid speculation the government will introduce new policies to bolster the economy. Taiwan’s Taiex Index climbed 2.7 percent. All other markets advanced except Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 0.6 percent to 7,825.51 at the close, erasing gains of as much as 2.7 percent earlier after Denso Corp. said it will report a full-year loss and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. reported lower third-quarter profit. Incitec Pivot Ltd., Australia’s largest fertilizer maker, plunged by a record on a lower-than-expected earnings forecast.

Most European stocks fell as losses at BP Plc and Dow Chemical Co. showed the global recession is battering earnings at energy and chemical producers.

BP, Europe’s second-biggest oil company, sank the most in almost three weeks after reporting its first quarterly loss in seven years. Dow Chemical, the largest U.S. chemical maker, slid 6.7 percent after posting a $1.55 billion net loss.

Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index had earlier climbed 1 percent after Vodafone Group Plc posted a 14 percent increase in sales and Japan stepped up measures to revive economic growth. The regional gauge was down less than 0.1 percent at 12:02 p.m. in London as three stocks fell for every two that rose.