Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index extending its winning streak to a sixth day, after an increase in U.S. manufacturing boosted optimism about growth in the world’s biggest economy.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.3 percent to 138.72 as of 9:26 a.m. in Tokyo as two shares rose for each that fell. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced to a record yesterday after the Institute for Supply Management’s index rose to 53.7 in March from 53.2 in February, showing manufacturing was expanding as a winter-depressed first quarter ended.
“Economic data was constructive for market bulls as it painted a picture of a gradually improving U.S. manufacturing sector,” Matthew Sherwood, head of investment markets research in Sydney at Perpetual Investments, wrote in a note. “There were solid rises in forward orders and production, which suggests that the weather slowdown could be clearing in March.”
Japan’s Topix (TPX) index added 0.7 percent after the yen yesterday fell for a fourth day against the dollar. Japanese companies have signaled confidence in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to stamp out deflation. Consumer prices will rise 1.5 percent over the next 12 months, and 1.7 percent in three years and in five years, according companies surveyed for the Bank of Japan’s Tankan.
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