Asian Stocks Rise Amid Speculation Fed Will Delay Stimulus Cuts

Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index extending a five-month high, amid speculation the Federal Reserve will delay stimulus cuts.

Canon Inc, the world's biggest camera maker, gained 1.4 per cent as a weaker yen boosted the earnings outlook for Japanese exporters.

Tencent Holdings Inc. jumped to a record in Hong Kong, pacing gains among Internet companies after industry bellwether Google Inc.'s ad sales topped estimates.

Qantas Airways slipped 5.6 per cent, falling a second day after Australia's largest carrier said last week it expects the lowest yields for passenger flights in more than a decade.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.2 per cent to 143.69 as of 5:16 p.m. in Tokyo, with almost two shares rising for each that fell.

The gauge climbed 1.8 per cent last week after China's economic growth accelerated and as investors shifted their focus from the resolution of the US fiscal showdown to the timeline for the Fed reducing bond buying.

"The market will continue to rally based on improving economic fundamentals and a potential delay in tapering of the Federal Reserve's stimulus," Angus Gluskie, managing director at White Funds Management Ltd in Sydney where he helps oversee about US$550 million (S$681 million), said by telephone.

"While the US government still needs to do more work on the debt issue and their budget, we're going into 2014 with the likelihood of synchronized recovery in Europe, Asia and the US."

Japan's Topix index advanced 0.6 per cent. The nation's exports rose 11.5 per cent in September from a year earlier, according to a government data on Monday, missing the 15.6 per cent estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Japan Economy Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said today the economy will sustain a moderate recovery.

Policy makers will maintain accommodative monetary policy until inflation reaches 2 per cent, Kuroda said at the central bank's branch manager meeting in Tokyo.

New Zealand's NZX 50 Index climbed 0.9 per cent to a record high, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.6 per cent.

Singapore's Straits Times Index added 0.1 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.4 per cent, and China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1.6 per cent. South Korea's Kospi index closed little changed, while Taiwan's Taiex Index lost 0.3 percent.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 3.6 per cent this month through Oct 18 as the US Congress voted to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.

The gauge traded at 13.78 times estimated earnings as of Oct. 18, compared with 15.8 for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and 14.7 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

S&P 500 futures added 0.1 per cent today.

The US equity gauge gained 0.7 per cent to a record on Oct 18 as results from Google and General Electric Co. topped estimates.

US data due tomorrow will probably show employers added 180,000 workers in September, the most since April, after a 169,000 gain in August, according to the median estimate of 93 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The Labor Department report, originally due Oct 4, was delayed by the Oct 1-Oct 17 partial government shutdown.

The Fed won't taper its bond-purchasing program until March next year because the shutdown probably slowed fourth-quarter US growth and also interrupted the flow of data, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey.

The monthly pace of asset buying will be pared to $70 billion from $85 billion at the Fed's March 18-19 meeting, the median of 40 estimates shows.

Japanese exporters advanced as the yen fell as much as 0.4 per cent against the US dollar. A weaker yen boosts the overseas income of the nation's electronics manufacturers when repatriated.

Canon climbed 1.4 per cent to 3,185 yen. Panasonic Corp, Japan's second-biggest television maker, added 0.9 per cent to 949 yen. Advantest Corp., a maker of semiconductor equipment, gained 1.5 per cent to 1,247 yen.

Internet companies rallied as Google shares surpassed $1,000 for the first time after reporting third-quarter sales and profit that beat estimates and amid optimism about new advertising for wireless devices and online video.

Barclays Plc said it expects Chinese Internet companies to post strong results in the three months ended September.

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