Asian Stocks Power to One-Month High
Asian markets jumped Thursday, buoyed by strong U.S. earnings and global recovery hopes after China's economy grew faster than forecast in the second quarter.
Tokyo shares hit a one-week high and shares elsewhere in Asia-Pacific powered to their highest in a month. The U.S. dollar and euro held broadly steady against the yen, base metals prices rose and crude oil futures edged higher.
But markets were keeping a wary eye on the fate of CIT Group a U.S. lender to thousands of small and mid-sized businesses, after bailout talks with the government ended. The lender is likely to file for bankruptcy on Friday.
China said its second-quarter GDP rose 7.9 percent against the previous year, beating expectations for a 7.5 percent rise, while its first half GDP rose 7.1 percent against a year earlier.
The greenback edged down against the yen, but remained broadly supported by the rise in U.S. equities and growing confidence in the U.S. economy. The dollar has rebounded against the yen after hitting a five-month low of 91.73 yen on trading platform EBS earlier this week. Some traders said the news about CIT gave investors an excuse to take some profits on yen crosses. The Australian dollar slipped 0.7 percent to 75.19 yen and the New Zealand dollar dipped 0.6 percent to 60.77 yen. Oil prices gained 3 percent, to approach $62 a barrel, on a rise in U.S. crude inventories.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Average climbed 0.8 percent as high-tech exporters gained on a weaker yen and after results from Intel lifted hopes for a rebound in technology spending. But the index's rise was limited by caution towards earnings and political uncertainty at home. Mazda Motor surged around 6 percent after the Nikkei business daily said Toyota Motor plans to supply Mazda with core components for hybrid vehicles.
South Korea's KOSPI also closed 0.8 percent higher, led by technology issues and shipbuilders including Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Heavy Industries, fueled by robust foreign buying.
Australian stocks posted a one-month high close, up 1.8 percent, rising for a third day
after upbeat U.S. company earnings and better-than-expected growth figures from China boosted global economic recovery hopes.
More From CNBC.com
China's better-than-expected growth data failed to lift the market as profit-taking capped gains. The Shanghai Composite Index was 0.2 percent lower, reversing gains of over 1 percent logged earlier in the session.
Hong Kong stocks climbed 0.6 percent. Chinese battery and electric car maker BYD rose after saying it planned to issue up to 100 million A shares on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange to raise capital for development projects. Shipping stocks extended Wednesday's strong surge after the main sea freight index jumped overnight amid signs the global economy was on the mend. China Cosco rose 2.8 percent, building on the previous session's 5.8 percent gains, while China Shipping Development jumped.
In Singapore, property plays gave the Straits Times Index a boost after government data showed private home sales soared to a record high in June. The STI was up 0.5 percent.