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Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Message Board

  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Feb 13, 2008 9:43 PM Flag

    Asian Stocks Advance as Economic Concerns Ease; Toyota Climbs

    Asian Stocks Advance as Economic Concerns Ease; Toyota Climbs

    By Chen Shiyin

    Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks rose the most in three weeks after Japan's economy and U.S. retail sales grew faster than estimated, easing concern the world's two biggest economies are sliding into a recession.

    Mizuho Financial Group Inc. advanced for the first time in seven days after Japan's gross domestic product expanded at the fastest pace in three quarters. Toyota Motor Corp. and LG.Philips LCD Co. led gains among companies with U.S. revenue. Rio Tinto Group jumped after reporting higher profit.

    ``The Japanese number was surprisingly strong, while better-than-expected U.S. retail sales could help prevent the December-quarter GDP number from slipping into the negative,'' said Shane Oliver, who helps manage the equivalent of $113 billion at AMP Capital Investors in Sydney. ``We're not likely to see a protracted bear market.''

    The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 2.6 percent to 142.41 at 11:13 a.m. in Tokyo, as all 10 industry groups gained. The increase was the most since Jan. 25. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average jumped 2.8 percent, the largest climb since Jan. 29.

    Benchmarks advanced in all markets open for trading, except New Zealand. Incitec Pivot Ltd., Australia's largest fertilizer maker, and STX Pan Ocean Co., South Korea's biggest commodity- shipping line, led gains among shares that will be added to MSCI Inc.'s global indexes.

    U.S. stocks rose yesterday for a third day, the longest stretch of gains this year, as increased demand at Applied Materials Inc., the No. 1 maker of semiconductor-production machines, spurred a rally in technology shares.

    Japan's Growth

    Concerns that worldwide economic expansion will slow amid mounting losses related to U.S. subprime-mortgage investments has dragged MSCI's Asian index down by 9.7 percent this year. The International Monetary Fund last month cut its forecast for 2008 global growth to 4.1 percent, the weakest pace since 2003.

    Mizuho, Japan's third-largest publicly traded bank by market value, added 0.9 percent to 429,000 yen, halting a six- day, 14 percent drop. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., the biggest, rose 1 percent to 948 yen.

    Japan's economic growth accelerated to 3.7 percent last quarter from a revised 1.3 percent annualized expansion in the third quarter, the Cabinet Office said today. The median estimate of 39 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for growth of 1.7 percent.

    Meanwhile, U.S. retail sales climbed 0.3 percent in January on increased spending on autos, clothes and gasoline. Economists in a Bloomberg survey had expected a drop of 0.3 percent.

    Toyota, LG.Philips

    Toyota, Japan's largest automaker, rose 1.9 percent to 5,980 yen. Nissan Motor Co., the third-biggest, jumped 4.6 percent to 965 yen after KBC Securities rated the shares ``buy'' in new coverage.

    LG.Philips, the world's second-largest liquid-crystal display maker, added 4.2 percent to 43,450 yen. Nintendo Co., the maker of the Wii game console, surged 5.5 percent to 50,700 yen. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., a maker of Apple Inc.'s iPods, climbed 4.6 percent to NT$171.

    Rio Tinto, the world's third-biggest mining company, climbed 3.1 percent to A$132.56, poised for its highest close since Jan. 2. Rio said second-half profit rose 11 percent to $4.06 billion on record iron-ore production and its acquisition of Alcan Inc.

    Also in Australia, Incitec Pivot gained 4.8 percent to A$138.56 after MSCI said the company was among eight Asian stocks chosen to join its benchmarks this month.

    Sydney-based Sims Group Ltd., the world's biggest recycler of scrap metal, rose 1.5 percent to A$31.47. STX Pan Ocean jumped 13 percent to 2,015 won.

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