Asian shares added for the third day, with the regional blue-chip gauge expanding a six-year high, as US inflation figures showed interest rate hikes are unlikely to be implemented sooner than expected. Chinese stocks in Hong Kong soared.
Lotte Confectionery Co. added 8.1% to close at a record high. A measure of mainland shares listed in Hong Kong increased 2% to reverse the year’s decline. Tokyo Electron Ltd plunged 2.9% after a report said China objected to its merger with Applied Materials.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index soared 0.5% to 148.56 by 9:24 pm in Hong Kong. Eight of the gauge’s10 industry sectors gained after closing trading yesterday at the highest point since June 2008. The US cost of living grew at a lower rate in June and home sales surged to an eight-month peak, indicating that the growth of the world’s biggest economy is exerting little pressure on prices.
“I don’t think the Federal Reserve is in a hurry to raise interest rates anytime soon given the low inflation data. The market was spooked last week by a potential escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, but such concern probably has eased off a little bit,” Toby Lawson of Sydney-based Newedge Group SA told Bloomberg by phone.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index soared 0.6%. The country’s key consumer prices increased more than economists projected last quarter, confirming the decision by policy makers not to tamper with the interest rates.
In Sydney, BHP Billiton Ltd advanced 1.2% to A$38.98 after the biggest mining firm in the world said announced production of iron-ore soared 19% in the quarter ended June, surpassing analysts’ projections.
In Southeast Asia, Thai shares advancedwhile Indonesia soared, Reuters reported. The SET gauge of Thailand jumped 1.4%, with banking and consumer firms leading gains. Jakarta’s composite gauge increased, recovering from a 0.9% decline on Tuesday.
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