TOKYO: Asian stocks snapped a two-day loss after Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said Greece is likely to stay in the euro and most of the region’s leaders supported issuing a joint bond, easing concern about Europe’s debt crisis.
Samsung Electronics Co., South Korea’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics that depends on Europe for 19% of its sales, added 1% in Seoul. BHP Billiton Ltd., Australia’s biggest mining company and oil producer, added 0.6% as crude and metal prices rose. Japan Tobacco Inc., Asia’s largest cigarette maker by market value, rose 3.4% after it agreed to buy Belgium-based Gryson NV to boost growth in Europe.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.2% to 112.14 as of 9:15 a.m. in Tokyo before the Hong Kong market opened. The measure has fallen 0.4% this week, headed for a four-week loss, the longest streak since November.
“Monti’s comments should provide some support to the market, but in terms of a more sustained turnaround, we still have to see more out of Europe,” said Matt Riordan, a portfolio manager who helps manage about $6.5 billion in Sydney at Paradice Investment Management Pty. “The next catalyst will be the Greek election and things that come out of that. The market is going to play a bit of a wait-and-see game on that front.” (Bloomberg/T07)