Asian stocks rose for the first time in three days after the largest jump in U.S. retail sales since 2012 added to optimism that the recovery in the world’s biggest economy is intact.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.4 percent to 137.83 as of 9:29 a.m. in Tokyo, before markets open in Hong Kong and China. The gauge fell yesterday to a two-week low, taking its loss this year to 2.8 percent amid concern Chinese economic growth is slowing and as a stronger yen weighs on the earnings outlook for Japanese exporters.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today after the U.S. equities benchmark index climbed 0.8 percent yesterday. Retail sales increased in March by the most since September 2012, Commerce Department figures showed yesterday. Citigroup Inc. (C) surged after reporting an unexpected first-quarter profit increase.