Asian Shares Rebound, Japanese Exports Beat Expectations

Japan April exports beat expectations
Japan April exports beat expectations

Markets in Asia rose Thursday with Japan's Nikkei 225 Index gaining 1.2% to end the day at 9.640. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index rose 1.2% to 19,431 and in China the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1.1% to 2,656.

Japanese exporters got a boost today from figures showing that the country's exports rose more than predicted during April. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg estimated a 38.3% gain and today the Finance Ministry announced that the country had experienced a 40.4% increase.

Electronics companies, now able to increase their earnings forecasts closed higher today. Camera maker Canon surged 2.1% and Olympus rose 1.7%. Sharp climbed 2.8%, Sony gained 2.1% and Casio Computer advanced 1%. Clarion, which makes car audio systems, was one of the day's biggest winners, soaring 7%, while Asahi Glass, whose products include automotive window glass jumped 4.3%.

The yen fell slightly against the euro and dollar, helping exporters' numbers. Car company shares were on the rise today with Isuzu rocketing 5.7%, Honda up 1.2% and Toyota adding 1.1%. Suzuki, which manufactures both motorcycles and cars, advanced 2.7%. Fanuc, which ships robotic factory parts to European customers who like to buy their fruit and vegetables neatly wrapped in plastic and polystyrene, rallied 3.2%.

Among Japanese shippers, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha climbed 4.7%, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines gained 3% and Nippon Yusen K.K. increased 1.6%.

In Hong Kong, China Solar Energy skyrocketed 25.6% after an agreement was reached to sell HK$300 million shares to Guangdong Rising Nonferrous metals Group, according to Bloomberg. But the sale still needs the approval of regulators.

Hong Kong mining stocks climbed with Yanzhou Coal surging 7.2% and China Coal Energy gaining 5.9%. Shipping companies rose, with Pacific Basin Shipping climbing 5.4% and China Cosco soaring 4.2%.

In China, mining and commodity stocks were also a good bet. Zhuzhou Smelter Group, which refines zinc, rallied 5.7%, Jiangxi Copper rose 3.6% and Aluminum Corp of China, also known as Chalco, gained 3.1%.

Guangzhou Tech-Long Packing Machine surged to the 10% daily limit. The company makes machinery for bottling drinks and treating water, and today analysts at Citic securities rated the company a buy, saying it has huge growth potential. With clean water hard to come by, bottled beverages would surely be a good bet.