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13 April 2024

Asia stocks rebound on efforts to revive growth

By Agencies

Asian stocks rose for the first time in three days, led by bank and technology shares, as Japan and Australia widened efforts to revive economic growth and memory chip prices surged.

China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.4 per cent to a two-month high amid speculation the government will introduce new policies to bolster the economy.

Taiwan's Taiex Index climbed 2.7 per cent. All other markets advanced except Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 0.6 per cent to 7825.51 at the close, erasing gains of as much as 2.7 per cent earlier after Denso Corp said it would report a full-year loss and Takeda Pharmaceutical reported lower third-quarter profit. Incitec Pivot, Australia's largest fertiliser maker, plunged by a record on a lower-than-expected earnings forecast.

Stock market declines this year extended 2008's record 43 per cent tumble for the MSCI Asia Pacific index. Average valuations for companies on the measure have fallen 31 per cent in the past year to 11 times reported profit.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.5 per cent to 81.65 in Tokyo, with five stocks advancing for each that declined. The gauge is down nine per cent this year amid mounting signs the global recession is pummelling corporate profits.

Commonwealth Bank, Australia's No 1 mortgage lender, jumped 9.8 per cent to A$29.05 after saying first-half profit will be about 20 per cent higher than analysts have estimated. National Australia Bank, the country's biggest by assets, added 4.5 per cent to A$19.55. Woolworths, Australia's largest retailer, gained 1.7 per cent to A$27.61.

Advantest, the world's biggest maker of memory chip testers, rose 2.5 per cent to 1262 yen in Tokyo. Hynix, the world's second-biggest computer memory maker, climbed 2.4 per cent to 9110 won in Seoul.