World Economy

HK Leads Asia Stock Gain

HK Leads Asia Stock GainHK Leads Asia Stock Gain

Asian stocks outside Japan advanced for a fifth day amid speculation that central banks from China to the US will maintain support for economic growth.

The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index added 0.4 percent by 1:43 p.m. in Tokyo, as the the biggest jump by HSBC Holdings Plc since 2011 propelled the Hang Seng Index to a 1.3 percent gain. Futures on US equity-indexes were little changed after records last week. The euro was steady after gaining Friday even as talks on aid for Greece ended in acrimony. Corn futures dropped 0.5 percent, Bloomberg reported.

 Nikkei Slips

The Nikkei stock index slipped Monday in cautious trading as investors awaited monetary policy decisions in the United States and Japan and domestic corporate earnings.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 36.72 points, or 0.18 percent, from Friday at 19,983.32. But the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 0.23 points, or 0.01 percent, higher at 1,619.07.

 HSBC Jumps

Hong Kong’s benchmark stock gauge jumped as HSBC surged 5.2 percent after the Sunday Times reported Europe’s largest lender is considering the spinoff of its British retail bank and executives pledged to review the company’s domicile. HSBC’s two-day gain is the biggest since 2009 on a closing basis.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies listed in the city added 0.9 percent after its first weekly retreat since March. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.9 percent after regulators said they would step up policing of market manipulation and insider dealing.

BHP Billiton Ltd. climbed 2.1 percent in Sydney, the biggest support to Australia’s benchmark index, after iron ore entered a bull market. The world’s biggest mining company is up 7.9 percent in three days.

Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index plunged 2.4 percent, the most since October, as all nine industry groups retreated. Agricultural stocks led declines, with PT Astra Agro Lestari plunging 8.9 percent after first-quarter earnings plummeted.