Asian Equities Higher with Eyes on U.S. Recovery

Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index headed for its biggest gain this week, amid optimism the U.S. economy is emerging from a worse-than-estimated contraction last quarter.

China Gas Holdings Ltd. gained 4 percent in Hong Kong as it said it plans to increase sales threefold by 2020. Rakuten Inc. rose 2.9 percent after the Japanese online retailer was reported to be in talks to invest in a discount airline with AirAsia Bhd. Luk Fook Holdings International Ltd. climbed 4.3 percent in Hong Kong after profit at the jeweler rose.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) gained 0.7 percent to 145.26 as of 2:31 p.m. in Hong Kong, with all of its 10 industry groups advancing. U.S. stocks rose for the first time in three days as investors watch data for signs of a recovery after a report yesterday showed the economy shrank the most in five years last quarter. Economists predict a gauge of personal spending by Americans today will show gains.


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