Asian stocks rose, extending a two-month high, after Premier Li Keqiang said China’s economy won’t grow any more slowly than 7 percent and as U.S. housing data damped concerns the Federal Reserve will reduce stimulus.
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s biggest lender by market value, jumped 3.9 percent in Hong Kong. Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s biggest maker of smartphones, rose 2 percent in Seoul. Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. (5401) climbed 2.7 percent in Tokyo after the Nikkei newspaper reported the world’s No. 1 steelmaker agreed to a 10 percent price increase with Toyota Motor Corp.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.9 percent to 137.21 as of 1:34 p.m. in Tokyo, with about three stocks rising for each that fell. The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) climbed 2.2 percent as major Asia-Pacific indexes advanced. China’s “bottom line” for gross domestic product growth is 7 percent and the nation can’t let growth go below that, Beijing News reported today, citing Premier Li’s comments at a recent meeting with economists and business people.