Asian Markets: Nikkei up despite Toyota recall

Asian stocks rose on Wednesday, adding 0.7 percent to the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. This is the seventh month the index has risen, indicating that Asian economies are in a sustained recovery from the recession brought on by the global banking crisis.

In Japan, the Nikkei Index rose 0.3 percent to close at 10,133, spiking in the last few seconds of trading. Foster Electric Co. Ltd.(FOECF), which makes sound equipment like speakers and headphones, surged 15 percent on the news that its profits had surpassed forecasts. NGK Insulators Ltd. (NGKIF), which makes insulation for electronics equipment, surged 8.8 percent, also saying estimates show it outperformed projections.

Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) fell 0.8 percent in Japanese trading after announcing its largest-ever U.S. recall. The company is recalling about 3.8 million vehicles including the Toyota Camry, the most popular passenger car in the U.S., and the Prius, which is the best-selling hybrid. The vehicles have a removable floor mat that can cause the gas pedal to get stuck while the driver is accelerating.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed down 0.3 percent, ending the day at 20,955.

China South City Holdings Ltd., joins the pack of recent IPOs to lose money on their first day of trading. The company, which runs the largest trade center in China and is located in Pinghu, Shenzhen, plummeted 23 percent. It joins menswear company China Lilang Ltd. and builder Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd., which also lost value this month on their debuts. Analysts say investors are losing their appetite for the plethora of new listings, which is not good news for the the pack of upcoming IPOs, including the 10 companies scheduled to start trading on China's new Nasdaq-style board due to launch in October.

Hong Kong-listed commodities slipped, with PetroChina Co. (PTR), dipping 1.6 percent and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (SNPMF) falling 1.4 percent. CNOOC Ltd. lost 1.5 percent despite yesterday's news that the company may be acquiring the rights to prime Nigerian oil blocks.

In China, stocks edged up sending the Shanghai Composite forward 0.9 percent to close at 2,779.

Chinese commodities added value on reports that manufacturing across China had increased due to government stimulus programs: Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. (JIXAY) gained 4.7 percent, Yunnan Copper Industry Co. rose 3.6 percent and Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. (ALMMF) climbed 3.1 percent after announcing it will raise product prices.

Motorcycle and aviation parts company Nan Fang Space Navigation Science & Technology Co. climbed 4 percent after getting regulatory approval for a deal with Aviation Industry Corp. of China. Nan Fang will acquire additional aerospace-parts business in exchange for assets in its motorcycle parts business.

All in all, a good way to kick off the week-long holiday for Chinese investors.
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