Tokyo/Sydney: Asian stocks gained, led by Canon Inc. and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., as investors bought shares that fell yesterday on concern a U.S. manufacturing report would drive down equities.
“U.S. markets turned out more stable than people feared yesterday and that prompted buying back of large-cap stocks, although it may only last a couple of days,’’ said Yoshihisa Okamoto, who helps oversee $1.9 billion in assets at Fuji Investment Management Co. in Tokyo.
U.S. stocks rose even after the Institute for Supply Management said manufacturing growth in the world’s largest economy slowed more than forecast in March.
The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index climbed 0.8% to 144.47 as of 11:04 am in Tokyo. BHP Billiton Ltd led resources stocks higher after copper climbed to a four-month high and nickel gained.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.8% to 17,162.62. Markets elsewhere in the region gained, except for in South Korea which was little changed.
Canon, the world’s biggest digital-camera maker, rose 1.1% to 6,300 yen, after falling 1.6% yesterday. Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan’s biggest lender by assets, climbed 1.5% to 1.34 million yen. The stock declined 0.8% yesterday. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., the world’s biggest consumer electronics maker, advanced 2.8% to 2,420 yen, rebounding from a 0.8% loss yesterday.
Japanese benchmarks slid yesterday after the Bank of Japan’s quarterly Tankan survey showed manufacturer confidence fell by more than economists estimate and on concern a drop in the ISM manufacturing index would trigger a slump in U.S. shares.
The Nikkei fell 1.5% and the Topix declined 1.8% yesterday, the largest one-day losses since 14 March.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2% and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.3% even after the ISM said its factory index fell to 50.9, from 52.3 in February.
The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a drop to 51.4. A sub-index of prices rose the most in seven months, while measures of employment and new orders declined.
BHP, the world’s biggest mining company by market value and production, added 2% to A$29.94. Rio Tinto Group, the second-biggest by market value and third by production, gained 1.8% to A$78.58. Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Japan’s largest nickel producer, added 1.4% to 2,190 yen.
Copper rose 1.1% in New York, the highest close since 5 December. In London, copper climbed 1.6%, while nickel added 1.8%.
“Demand for commodities is strong, particularly in China, so I see the resources story continuing for some time yet,’’ said Shane Oliver, who helps manage about $83 billion at AMP Capital Investors Ltd in Sydney.