Asian Stocks Rise a Second Week on Japan's Quake Recovery

Asian stocks rose for the second straight week as Japanese companies began resuming production after the nation’s worst earthquake, and Chinese firms posted profits that beat analyst estimates.

Hitachi Ltd. (6501), the Japanese maker of products from home appliances to nuclear reactors, jumped 3.9 percent in Tokyo after the Nikkei newspaper reported its main factory in Japan will resume full production next month. HTC Corp. (2498), the Taiwanese mobile-phone maker that gets about half its sales from America, rose 7.6 percent after a report showed U.S. companies added more workers in March. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. gained 3 percent in Hong Kong this week after 2010 earnings surpassed analyst estimates.

“There’s been solid earnings from Chinese companies and U.S. data has also been encouraging,” said Ng Soo Nam, the Singapore-based chief investment officer at Nikko Asset Management Co., which oversees about $126 billion. “The worst of the nuclear crisis in Japan could be behind us.”

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.8 percent to 135.32 this week. The gauge last week recorded its biggest gain since November as Japan made progress stabilizing reactors at a nuclear plant crippled after the earthquake and a tsunami. The previous week, the index dropped the most since the height of Europe’s debt crisis in May, as Japan fought to avert a nuclear disaster and tensions escalated in Libya.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average has advanced 1.8 percent since March 25. South Korea’s Kospi Index rose 3.7 percent, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 2.5 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was 2.8 percent higher.

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