Commodity Producers Lift Asian Stocks

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.”


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