Bulls lift Asia stocks near 11-month highs

Bulls lift Asia stocks near 11-month highs

Hong Kong: Asian stocks edged up close to 11-month highs on Thursday on strength in resource-related shares, while the Australian dollar gained after a surprise rise in employment prompted increased bets on higher interest rates.

Developed markets were favoured during the Asian session, with Japanese and Australian stocks posting gains of more than 1%, while shares in Shanghai dropped on nervousness monetary authorities will take steps to curb lending.

Japan’s Nikkei share average rose 1.3%, led by Honda Motor Co. but camera maker Nikon Corp. pulled it down with its shares plunging 10%.

Stocks in Shanghai dropped as much as 3% but then cut their losses to 2.1% though the index is still up some 84% this year.

China’s central bank late on Wednesday repeated that monetary policy will remain growth friendly, sticking with its view that the recovery was not solid, though it said it would use market tools to fine tune policy after unprecedented loan growth in the first six months of the year. That sparked fears of increasing action by authorities to rein in abundant liquidity.

Hong Kong shares, however, jumped 2% to an 11-month closing high as early losses were erased by strong buying in China Mobile Ltd on speculation the company was on track to list in Shanghai. Australian stocks rose 1.5% to a fresh nine-month closing high, with shares in Taiwan and South Korea also up by about a third of a percent, while Singapore dipped 0.2%.

Lu Jianxin in Shanghai contributed to this story.