Asia-Pacific Markets

Robust Chinese Data Boost Asian Shares with Wires

Asian stock markets made modest gains on Wednesday, as investors shrugged off the rocky session on Wall Street overnight and focused instead on strong data out of China, which showed factory output jumping to a 19-month high in October.

Japan's share markets were flat as the yen climbed, offsetting a surprisingly large jump in domestic machinery orders for September and a forecast for a rise in the fourth quarter.

Tech shares such as Advantest Corp slipped after  rising the previous day, while nonferrous metals makers such as Dowa Holdings came under pressure amid concerns over long-term demand.

But Japan Airlines rose 4.8 percent after sources said the state-owned Development Bank of Japan will offer a 100 billion yen ($1.1 billion) line of credit to JAL to keep the airline from running out of cash.    

The benchmark Nikkei Average finished flat at 9,871.68, while the broader Topix index was also flat, down 0.15 point at 872.29.

Bank shares gained as well with top bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group up 1.4 percent to 510 yen and no. 3 bank Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group rising 1 percent to 3,200 yen.

Dowa Holdings and Pacific Metals, both nonferrous metals makers, were the top drags on the Nikkei, with Dowa Holdings falling 6 percent to 503 yen and Pacific Metals losing 5.5 percent to 641 yen.

Aeon, Japan's second-largest retailer, fell 5 percent to 736 yen after saying it would raise 100 billion yen ($1.11 billion) through a convertible bond issue to service debt payments, triggering worries over a dilution in share value. Advantest lost 1.7 percent to 1,975 yen and Tokyo Electron fell 2 percent to 4,880 yen.

Financials Bolster South Korea

Seoul shares rose slightly to close at their session high, led by SK C&C, which soared as much as 22 percent in its trading debut on aggressive buying from local institutions.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index advanced 0.79 percent to 1,594.82 points, but was still 7 percent off its 15-month peak touched in September.

Shares in SK C&C, an affiliate of mobile phone carrier SK Telecom, closed at 35,650 won after rising to a session high of 36,550, far above its IPO price of 30,000 won.

Large-caps were mostly in positive territory, with panel maker LG Display and Shinhan Financial Group up 2.2 percent each.

Banking stocks were mixed, with third-ranked Woori Finance Holdings down 1.6 percent, after data showed South Korea's money supply in September grew at the fastest pace in six
months and banks' mortgage lending to households in October rebounded.

Hankook Tire, South Korea's top tyre maker, fell 4.1 percent amid foreign selling which reached a net 63 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

China End Down 0.1%

China's key stock index edged down 0.1 percent, snapping an eight-session rally after data for October confirmed a brisk economic recovery but weaker-than-expected new lending fuelled worries about market liquidity.

The Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.1 percent lower at 3,175.192 points after setting a three-month closing high on Tuesday.

Gaining Shanghai A shares outnumbered losers by 501 to 380, however, while turnover slipped to 144 billion yuan ($21.1 billion) from Tuesday's 163 billion yuan.

Wednesday's busy schedule of economic data releases showed that China's export decline slowed in October, power generation growth hit its fastest in 19 months, and industrial output growth jumped to a 19-month high for the year to October, underlining the economy's brisk recovery.

But Chinese banks extended only 253.0 billion yuan in new local-currency loans in October, lower than expected and down sharply from 516.7 billion yuan in September. 

Australia Up 0.5%, Taiwan Closes at 2-Week High

Australian stocks rose 0.5 percent, led by miners such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto after economic data from China supported a view that a global economic recovery was taking hold.

Westfield Group, the world's biggest shopping mall owner by market value, rose 3.5 percent to A$12.59 ahead of its third quarter review. The stock was also supported by news that American Express reported a rise in U.S. credit card spending increased in October.

White Energy shares added 3.8 percent to A$2.75 after coal-processing technology firm struck a deal to raise A$100 million to fund the roll-out of technology that boosts the energy efficiency of low quality coal and cuts emissions.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index added 23.4 points to 4,757.0, based on the latest available data, rising for a fourth straight session.

Taiwan stocks ended up 0.98 percent at a fresh 2-week closing high, led by a rally in chipmaker TSMC after it settled a lawsuit with rival SMIC.

The main TAIEX share index rose for a fourth straight session, finishing up 74.57 points at 7,668.06, its highest close since Oct. 26.

TSMC the world's largest contract chipmaker, jumped 2.81 percent after SMIC, China's largest contract chipmaker, said on Tuesday that it would pay $200 million and give the right to purchase up to 10 percent of the company to TSMC to settle lawsuits between the two.

Its smaller rival UMC jumped nearly 5 percent, sending the semiconductor sub-index 2.49 percent higher.

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