Equityworld Futures : Asian stocks rose for the first time in four days as U.S. equities rebounded after data fueled optimism over the world’s biggest economy and Federal Reserve meeting minutes confirmed the likely timeframe for interest rates.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.7 percent to 135.66 as of 9:02 a.m. in Tokyo, climbing from a three-week low. The Asian gauge fell 2.4 percent in the past three days as crude futures sank. Most Fed officials agreed their commitment to be “patient” on raising rates meant there would be no increase in near-zero borrowing costs before late April, according to minutes of the December meeting released yesterday.

The Shanghai Composite Index yesterday climbed 0.7 percent to extend a five-year high, bringing valuations to 12.8 times estimated earnings. That compares with a multiple of 16.4 times on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Japan’s Topix index rose 1 percent after the gauge yesterday capped the worst three-day start to the year since 2008. Short-selling on the Tokyo Stock Exchange reached 37.8 percent of total trading value on Jan. 6, the highest since bourse data became available in 2008. The ratio slipped to 35.6 percent yesterday.

South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 0.5 percent, with Samsung Electronics Co. climbing 1.7 percent after posting fourth-quarter operating profit that beat estimates. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.4 percent, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.2 percent. Markets in China and Hong Kong have yet to open.

Source : Bloomberg