July 14, 2017 8:23 pm JST

Nikkei Asia300 index posts weekly gains as Yellen comments spur equity rally

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan rose this week, led by a rally in banking and technology stocks, as global risk sentiment was buoyed by what investors interpreted as fairly benign comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair on outlook for interest rates.

The Nikkei Asia300 index rose 0.4% to 1,274.38 on Friday, taking its advance this week to 3.3%. Samsung Electronics jumped 5.5% this week, pacing gains among technology shares across the region. Last Friday, the South Korean technology giant estimated a record operating profit for the June quarter. Tencent Holdings climbed 5.9% in the five-day period and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing added 3.4%. On Friday, Samsung fell 0.2% and Tencent added 0.1%. TSMC fell 0.7% after second-quarter net income missed analyst estimates. The Nasdaq Composite's 2% gains this week through Thursday also helped the rally in technology stocks.

China Construction Bank (CCB) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have risen 8% each since last Friday, pacing advances among mainland banks after China's central bank restarted open market operations and Morgan Stanley reiterated its "attractive" view on the sector. Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) and Bank of China (BOC) rose over 5% each this week.

Global risk appetite got a boost from Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments that slowing inflation may lead to the central bank reconsidering its policy plans and that interest rates in the world's largest economy did not have to climb much to reach neutral levels.

Most Nikkei country indices rose Friday, extending the week's rally. China advanced 0.5% and South Korea 1%. Taiwan ended little changed.

China Vanke rose 2.4% in Hong Kong in the morning. During the midday break, the developer requested a trading halt, pending the release of inside information. H-shares of China Railway Construction (CRCC) advanced 0.8% after saying its contracts in the first half surged 47%. Air China rose 0.1% after saying late Thursday that its passenger count rose 1.8% in June from a year earlier. China Eastern Airlines ended unchanged. The airline reported a 9.4% increase in passengers carried last month.

BOE Technology advanced 1.5% in Shenzhen after saying it expects to return to a profit for the first half of 2017 after reporting a loss in the year ago period.

The Nikkei Hong Kong index edged lower by 0.2%. AIA Group, up 6% this week through Thursday amid a broader rally in financials, fell 1% on Friday.

Nikkei's Singapore country index jumped 1.8% on Friday. Global Logistic Properties rose 22% to S$3.29 after the warehouse operator said that it will be acquired by private equity consortium Nesta Investment Holdings for S$3.38 per share. The offer values GLP at S$16 billion ($11.6 billion).

In other South East Asian country indices, Malaysia and Indonesia rose 0.2% each, while Thailand edged higher by 0.1%. The Philippines fell 0.6% and Vietnam lost 0.4%.

The county index for India ended little changed on Friday. Tata Consultancy Services dragged software stocks lower following disappointing earnings. Its peer Infosys edged lower by 0.4% despite reporting a better-than-expected earnings.

--Nimesh Vora and V. Phani Kumar

Asia300

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

South Korea

Market(Ticker): KRX(005930)
Sector:
Industry:
Electronic Technology
Telecommunications Equipment
Market cap(USD): 332,715M
Shares: 149.31M
Asia300

Tencent Holdings Ltd.

China

Market(Ticker): HKG(700)
Sector:
Industry:
Technology Services
Internet Software/Services
Market cap(USD): 366,848.87M
Shares: 9,479.80M
Asia300

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Taiwan

Market(Ticker): TAI(2330)
Sector:
Industry:
Electronic Technology
Semiconductors
Market cap(USD): 182,872.5M
Shares: 25,930.38M
Asia300

China Construction Bank Corp.

China

Market(Ticker): HKG(939)
Sector:
Industry:
Finance
Major Banks
Market cap(USD): 206,512.34M
Shares: 250,010.98M
Asia300

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.

China

Market(Ticker): HKG(1398)
Sector:
Industry:
Finance
Major Banks
Market cap(USD): 274,627.18M
Shares: 356,406.25M
Asia300

Agricultural Bank of China

China

Market(Ticker): HKG(1288)
Sector:
Industry:
Finance
Regional Banks
Market cap(USD): 171,216.41M
Shares: 324,794.10M
Asia300

China Vanke Co., Ltd.

China

Market(Ticker): HKG(2202)
Sector:
Industry:
Finance
Real Estate Development
Market cap(USD): 38,010.04M
Shares: 11,039.15M
Asia300

China Railway Construction Corp. Ltd.

China

Market(Ticker): HKG(1186)
Sector:
Industry:
Industrial Services
Engineering & Construction
Market cap(USD): 25,559.99M
Shares: 13,579.54M
Asia300

AIA Group Ltd.

Hong Kong

Market(Ticker): HKG(1299)
Sector:
Industry:
Finance
Life/Health Insurance
Market cap(USD): 91,067.44M
Shares: 12,074.08M
Asia300

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.

India

Market(Ticker): BOM(532540)
Sector:
Industry:
Technology Services
Information Technology Services
Market cap(USD): 74,123.9M
Shares: 1,914.29M
Asia300

Infosys Ltd.

India

Market(Ticker): BOM(500209)
Sector:
Industry:
Technology Services
Information Technology Services
Market cap(USD): 34,988.7M
Shares: 2,296.94M
Asia300

Air China Ltd.

China

Market(Ticker): HKG(753)
Sector:
Industry:
Transportation
Airlines
Market cap(USD): 17,625.02M
Shares: 14,524.81M
Asia300

China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd.

China

Market(Ticker): HKG(670)
Sector:
Industry:
Transportation
Airlines
Market cap(USD): 12,712.84M
Shares: 14,467.58M

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