Bloomberg reports that Asian stocks advanced for the first time in three days, led by commodity producers, after oil, copper and gold prices gained and Qantas Airways Ltd. forecast a pretax profit.
According to Bloomberg, Qantas jumped 4.4% as Australia’s biggest airline forecast first-half pretax profit of between A$50 million and A$150 million. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company and Australia’s top oil producer, added 2% after oil and copper rose in New York on Dec. 18. Nippon Oil Corp, Japan’s largest oil refiner, climbed 3.8%. Mazda Motor Corp., Japan’s second-largest car exporter, gained 1.4% after the yen weakened.
“Investors are cautiously optimistic heading into 2010,” Cameron Peacock, a market analyst at IG Markets in Melbourne, told Bloomberg. “There seems to be a general view that the economic recovery is still on track. Next year will certainly be one of consolidation, and confirmation that the expectations built into equity valuations are justified.”