May 31, 2017 9:14 pm JST

Nikkei Asia300 Index rises in May on earnings, French election cheer

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan rose in May after a market-favored outcome in French Presidential elections bolstered global sentiment, while a rally in regional technology companies kept investor spirits high.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index added 3.4% in May. Heavyweight internet giant Tencent Holdings added 9.9% this month after its March quarter earnings beat even the most optimistic estimates in a Bloomberg poll and positivity over its WeChat messaging platform sustained. Apple suppliers Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing added at least 4% each. The Asia300 Index, however, fell 0.4% or 5.6 points to 1,229.14 on Wednesday.

Investor sentiment received a fillip after pro-European Union candidate Emmanuel Macron won French presidential elections, allaying fears about the nation's possible exit from the bloc. U.S. indexes staged a rebound to scale fresh records after suffering a selloff sparked by political turmoil in Washington D.C. Regional markets also cheered the Federal Reserve's May meeting minutes that indicated some uncertainty about rate increases beyond June.

The country gauge for China jumped 4.7%, while Hong Kong's index added 2.1%in May. The gains came despite investor concerns over authorities' efforts to rein in financial risks and as markets largely shrugged off sovereign credit rating downgrades by Moody's Investors Service for the mainland and the city.

Ping An Insurance Group jumped 14% and China Life Insurance rose 8.2% this month after mainland authorities announced plans to relax rules for investments into projects under the One Belt, One Road initiative.

Belle International Holdings jumped over 15% this month after receiving a buyout offer at HK$6.30 that will take the footwear retailer private. The stock closed unchanged at HK$6.08 on Wednesday.

The country gauge for South Korea added 5.4% this month. On May 10, Moon Jae-in was sworn in as the nation's president, taking over after his predecessor Park Geun-hye was impeached in March.

Taiwan's index added 2.5% in May, led by a 14% jump in Hotai Motor.

The Nikkei Asia300 Malaysia Index added 1.9% this month. Glovemaker Hartalega Holdings surged 24% in May to lead gains on the 316-stock gauge this month. The company chalked up its best monthly advance since July 2009 after its fourth-quarter profit jumped 45.3%. Its rival Top Glove added 15%.

Budget airline AirAsia slid 11% this month, weighed down by a 30% decline in March quarter profit.

Singapore's gauge climbed 2.6%. Commodity trader Olam International rose 7.3% in May after it reported at 26.6% jump in first-quarter profit.

The city-state's largest lenders DBS Group Holdings, United Overseas Bank and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. added at least 5% each. Moody's changed its outlook for Singapore's banking system to stable from negative, citing improving growth conditions and stabilizing commodity prices that will limit a further weakening in asset quality and profitability.

In the rest of Southeast Asia, gauges for Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam rose at least 0.9% each.

The country index for India added 2.4% in May. ICICI Bank jumped 17% in May after the lender said it expects additions to bad loans to be significantly lower this financial year.

Tata Steel and auto-parts maker Motherson Sumi Systems rose more than 12% this month after reporting quarterly earnings.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries slumped 22% in May, the biggest loser on the Nikkei Asia300 this month, after the drugmaker reported a 13.6% drop in fourth-quarter profit.

-- Nimesh Vora and V. Phani Kumar

--Nikkei Markets is a real-time financial news service for South East Asia's markets published by Nikkei NewsRise Asia Pte Ltd, a Nikkei and NewsRise joint venture company. Nikkei Markets provides wide companies coverage in the region, including the Nikkei's Asia300 companies.

Asia300

Tencent Holdings Ltd.

China

Market(Ticker): HKG(700)
Sector:
Industry:
Technology Services
Internet Software/Services
Market cap(USD): 395,598M
Shares: 9,497.99M
Asia300

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.

Taiwan

Market(Ticker): TAI(2317)
Sector:
Industry:
Electronic Technology
Computer Peripherals
Market cap(USD): 65,978.9M
Shares: 17,328.7M
Asia300

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Taiwan

Market(Ticker): TAI(2330)
Sector:
Industry:
Electronic Technology
Semiconductors
Market cap(USD): 181,645M
Shares: 25,930.4M
Asia300

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd.

China

Market(Ticker): HKG(2318)
Sector:
Industry:
Finance
Multi-Line Insurance
Market cap(USD): 143,545M
Shares: 18,280.2M
Asia300

China Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

China

Market(Ticker): HKG(2628)
Sector:
Industry:
Finance
Life/Health Insurance
Market cap(USD): 110,216M
Shares: 28,264.7M
Asia300

Hotai Motor Co., Ltd.

Taiwan

Market(Ticker): TAI(2207)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Durables
Motor Vehicles
Market cap(USD): 6,139.68M
Shares: 546.17M

Belle International Holdings Ltd.

Hong Kong

Market(Ticker): HKG(1880)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Non-Durables
Apparel/Footwear
Market cap(USD): 6,578.7M
Shares: 8,434.23M
Asia300

AirAsia Bhd.

Malaysia

Market(Ticker): KLS(5099)
Sector:
Industry:
Transportation
Airlines
Market cap(USD): 2,532.09M
Shares: 3,341.97M
Asia300

Olam International Ltd.

Singapore

Market(Ticker): SES(O32)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Non-Durables
Food: Major Diversified
Market cap(USD): 4,196.95M
Shares: 2,832.63M
Asia300

DBS Group Holdings Ltd.

Singapore

Market(Ticker): SES(D05)
Sector:
Industry:
Finance
Regional Banks
Market cap(USD): 38,524.3M
Shares: 2,562.05M
Asia300

United Overseas Bank Ltd. (Singapore)

Singapore

Market(Ticker): SES(U11)
Sector:
Industry:
Finance
Regional Banks
Market cap(USD): 28,775.6M
Shares: 1,669.42M
Asia300

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Ltd.

Singapore

Market(Ticker): SES(O39)
Sector:
Industry:
Finance
Regional Banks
Market cap(USD): 33,837M
Shares: 4,193.78M
Asia300

ICICI Bank Ltd.

India

Market(Ticker): BOM(532174)
Sector:
Industry:
Finance
Regional Banks
Market cap(USD): 29,315.53M
Shares: 6,414.55M
Asia300

Tata Steel Ltd.

India

Market(Ticker): BOM(500470)
Sector:
Industry:
Non-Energy Minerals
Steel
Market cap(USD): 9,472.46M
Shares: 971.21M
Asia300

Motherson Sumi Systems Ltd.

India

Market(Ticker): BOM(517334)
Sector:
Industry:
Producer Manufacturing
Auto Parts: OEM
Market cap(USD): 10,684.65M
Shares: 2,105.16M
Asia300

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

India

Market(Ticker): BOM(524715)
Sector:
Industry:
Health Technology
Pharmaceuticals: Major
Market cap(USD): 17,585.80M
Shares: 2,399.24M

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