ASIA MARKETS: Tech Stocks Lead Broad Gains By Asian Markets

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11/21/2017 | 05:49 am

By Kenan Machado

Tencent market cap around $530 billion; Nikkei rises as yen weakens

Asian stocks rose Tuesday, following overseas gains overnight and as the hot tech sector continued to drive the region's equities.

Chinese messaging and gaming giant Tencent (>> Tencent Holdings Ltd) led the region's gains. Its shares have more than doubled this year, helping Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index to log a 34% gain for the year. The increase is among the world's biggest, and puts the index close to its 2007 record high.

The benchmark rose 1.2% Tuesday morning as Tencent jumped a further 3.7%, putting its market capitalization around $530 billion, surpassing that of Facebook (>> Facebook) . The stock, whose cumulative value topped $500 billion for the first time Monday, is approaching (>> and its $543 billion market cap.

But count C.Y. Fung among those contending that the broader market, and Tencent shares themselves, are still undervalued.

"We are seeing pretty healthy growth in Asia with earnings better than expected," the portfolio manager at Chinese asset-management firm Harvest Global Investments noted.

Indexes in Singapore , Taiwan and Japan were also all up nearly 1% at midday. Tech was leading a rebound in Taiwan, while a pullback in the yen helped Japanese stocks. The Nikkei had fallen in seven of the past nine sessions after October's big gains.

"The buy-the-dip crowd remains in charge of global stocks," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader. That as "we are also still seeing signs of markets refusing to sell off with any real conviction," added Chris Weston at IG Markets.

Industrial stocks including Hitachi Construction (>> Hitachi Construction Machinery Co Ltd) , Toyota (>> Toyota Motor Corp) and Komatsu (>> Komatsu Ltd) led gainers in Tokyo, rising about 2%to 3%.

The yen weakened overnight and was recently trading at Yen112.55 against the dollar , after getting a safe-haven boost Monday amid the euro's slide on German political worries.

Chinese stocks outperformed the region early on Tuesday, building on Monday's strong rebound. But the gains cooled by midday. The Shenzhen Composite Index finished 0.03% higher after rising as much as 0.9%.

But New Zealand stocks ignored gains in the region, with the NZX 50 Index down a point after setting a three-week closing high on Monday.

Elsewhere, the Australian dollar hit a five-month low against the U.S. dollar after the minutes of this month's central-bank meeting showed officials are nervously watching labor markets in other economies and domestic wage growth remained weak. The S&P/ASX 200 stock index was recently up 0.3%.

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