GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks rise on US shopper hopes, dollar up

* Asia stocks rise modestly; Japan extends outperformance
in Nov

* Shares of Li & Fung, supplier to Wal-Mart, hit record high

* Higher yields supporting U.S. dollar

(Adds Europe opening, updates prices)

By Kevin Plumberg

HONG KONG, Nov 25 (BestGrowthStock) – Asian stocks rose from
1-1/2-month lows on Thursday, with buying focused in the tech
and retail sectors on hopes for a busy U.S. shopping season,
though the falling Australian dollar was an indication of
investors’ reduced willingness to take risks.

Major European stock markets saw modest early gains, with
the FTSEurofirst 300 opening up 0.2 percent and
London’s FTSE 100 up 0.1 percent . U.S. stock index
futures (SPc1: ) were down 0.3 percent.

The euro was stuck near a two-month low on fears about the
next fiscal domino to fall in Europe, even after Ireland
hatched a plan to shore up its finances, with the single
currency poised for the largest monthly decline against the
dollar since May.

A rare bit of good news on the U.S. labour market
overnight sparked hopes the holiday season would result in big
sales for Asia’s exporters, though other factors such as the
closing window on Hong Kong’s once red-hot IPO market were
signals that equity markets may have topped out for the year.

More than $3 billion worth of proposed IPOs in Hong Kong
were deferred, while Hongkong Electric Holdings Ltd
put off pricing its 10-year dollar bond until next week.

“Usually, if there is a lot of hot money coming to Hong
Kong, these IPOs should be doing well,” said Belle Liang,
research head at Core Pacific-Yamaichi. “IPOs are being
delayed or withdrawn because of lacklustre demand.”

Japan’s Nikkei share average closed 0.5 percent
higher , extending what has been a surprising
outperformance this month compared with the rest of the region.

The Nikkei has risen 9.5 percent so far in November, and
with three more trading days to go in November is on track for
the best performing month since March.

The MSCI index of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan
is down 0.7 percent in November.

The index was up 0.4 percent on the day, largely driven
higher by 1 percent gains in the technology and consumer
discretionary sectors.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.4 percent ,
supported by a 5.7 percent pop in shares of Li & Fung
, an exporter that supplies Western retailers such as
Wal-Mart and Target.

Li & Fung stock hit a record high and was trading at 1.7
times its average volume of the past 30 days, one of the
busiest stocks in the index.

For the most part, the near-term outlook for emerging
Asian stocks was to a large extent dependent on how
policymakers respond to inflationary pressures.

“With growth above potential in many emerging markets,
particularly in Asia, the risk of broad-based inflation is
real and growing,” Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note.

“And, as policy responds to this in the form of rate hikes
or nominal currency appreciation, equities — stuck between
the pull of growth and the push of tightening policy — are
likely to have a bumpier ride.”

The Thanksgiving holiday in the United States will keep
trading activity limited on Thursday. Friday, the day after
Thanksgiving, is traditionally the busiest U.S. shopping day
of the year.

The need for liquidity has not necessarily benefited U.S.
Treasuries, though higher yields have been a draw to the dollar.

After poor auctions of mid-maturity debt, the U.S. 5-year
yield hit a two-month high of 1.59 percent
overnight, having now risen more than 50 basis points
since the most recent Federal Reserve meeting.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index (Read more about the global trade. ) , a
measure of its performance against six other major currencies,
was up 0.1 percent, heading back up to 80.00, a level that was
test overnight when the index hit the highest since Sept 24.

The high-yielding Australian and New Zealand dollars were
underperformers among G10 currencies on Thursday. Uncertainty
about what measures China may take to pull down inflation has
haunted these currencies.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks rise on US shopper hopes, dollar up