By RTT News, October 08, 2013, 05:19:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Asian stocks rebounded from two days of losses on Tuesday despite a weak lead from Wall Street overnight, where the Dow Jones industrial average fell around a percent to its lowest level in a month on renewed concerns over the government shutdown and a potential debt default. Hopes of a resolution to the U.S. fiscal standoff before a looming October 17 deadline and data showing a moderate increase in business activity in the Chinese service sector helped to support markets.
Meanwhile, China said it will deepen reforms and opening-up in all respects as its economy enters a new stage of development. Addressing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country was drawing up a master-plan to overcome challenges and create new impetus to economic development through reform in a balanced manner.
Japan's Nikkei index snapped a four-session losing streak to end 0.3 percent higher as the yen fell from an eight-week high versus the dollar. Growing worries over the U.S. government shutdown and the confrontation over raising the debt ceiling capped the upside. The broader Topix index rose 0.2 percent. Fuji Heavy Industries rose 2.3 percent on a Nikkei report that it along with Toyota Motor Corp. will jointly develop a hybrid sport utility vehicle. Honda Motor advanced 0.7 percent following recent steep losses, benefiting from the weaker yen.
Realty stocks gained ground, with Mitsui Fudosan rising 0.8 percent and Sumitomo Realty & Development adding 2 percent. Japan Airlines fell 1.9 percent on profit taking after rallying 3 percent the day before. Shares of online shopping site Rakuten Inc. plummeted nearly 12 percent after Yahoo Japan Corp. said it would eliminate vendor fees for its shopping and auction sites. Yahoo Japan shares slumped 6.5 percent.
In economic releases, Japan saw a current account surplus of 161.5 billion yen in August, the Ministry of Finance said - remaining in the green for the seventh straight month after three consecutive months of deficit. That was well shy of expectations for a surplus of 520.0 billion yen following the 577.3 billion yen surplus in July. The surplus plummeted 63.7 percent from a year earlier.
China's Shanghai Composite climbed 1.1 percent as trading resumed following week-long public holidays. Investors digested latest data, which showed that growth in the nation's service sector activity is stabilizing at a faster pace than in the second quarter. An index measuring the service sector came in with a score of 52.4 in September, down from 52.8 in August, the HSBC/Markit Services PMI revealed.
The composite PMI that covers both manufacturing and services eased to 51.2 from 51.8 in the previous month, indicating the world's second-largest economy is still on its way to a modest recovery. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.9 percent.
Australian shares ended off their day's lows on the back of improved business confidence and job advertisements data. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.2 percent to finish at 5,149. Banks ended mixed, with ANZ, NAB and Westpac losing between 0.1 percent and 0.8 percent, while Commonwealth rose half a percent. Global miner BHP Billiton edged up marginally and rival Rio Tinto advanced 0.4 percent.
Sims Metal Management closed 0.3 percent higher after naming former Harsco Corporation executive Galdino Claro as its new CEO. CSL gained 2.3 percent following the previous session's loss after the vaccines and human-plasma products maker said it has settled an antitrust class action in the United States. Takeover target Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory soared 11.2 percent as Canadian diary and cheese giant Saputo joined the takeover battle to buy the company.
An index measuring business confidence in Australia came in with a score of 12 in September, the National Australia Bank revealed in its monthly survey. That marked a 42-month high for the index, which improved from a revised score of 4 in August. The index for business conditions remained pessimistic, although it climbed from a downwardly revised -7 to -4. Meanwhile, the latest ANZ Job Ads Survey showed that the total number of job advertisements in Australia rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent sequentially in September, rising for the first time in six months.
South Korea's Kospi average rebounded from an early loss to end 0.4 percent higher on foreign fund buying. Overseas investors bought shares worth a net 77.3 billion won, extending their buying streak for a 29th consecutive session, data showed. Heavyweight Hyundai Motor rallied 2.4 percent and its affiliate Kia Motors rose 1.4 percent. LG Electronics shed 1.5 percent as the consumer electronics giant said it would introduce a flexible OLED [organic light-emitting diode] panel for smartphones.
New Zealand shares fell modestly in relatively thin trading. The benchmark NZX-50 dropped 0.4 percent, with 28 of its components retreating. A2 Corp led the decliners with a 2.9 percent loss, while Metlifecare and Pumpkin Patch soared 4-6 percent. Infratil closed 0.4 percent higher as Chairman David Newman stepped down from his position on medical leave. Smartpay closed flat following the previous session's rally.
New Zealand's business sentiment rebounded to its strongest level since 1999, a quarterly survey conducted by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research showed. The firm's general business outlook index for the coming six months climbed to 38, a 14-year high, from 32 in the prior quarter.
Elsewhere, India's Sensex was moving up 0.7 percent after the Reserve Bank of India lowered the marginal standing facility rate by 50 basis points to 9 percent in a bid to improve liquidity conditions in the banking system. Indonesia's Jakarta Composite was rising 1.1 percent, Malaysia's KLSE was up marginally, Singapore's Straits Times was gaining half a percent and the Taiwan Weighted average added half a percent.
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