PetroChina, Kweichow Moutai among the biggest gainers
SHANGHAI - China's stocks rose the most in four months after Moody's Investors Service put the nation's debt rating on review for a possible upgrade, retail sales surged and the yuan climbed to its strongest against the dollar since 1993.
PetroChina Co and China Shenhua Energy Co gained more than 2 percent, leading a rally for energy and raw-materials stocks, after Moody's cited China's growth outlook for a possible upgrade and producers tracked gains in commodity prices during the National Day holiday.
Kweichow Moutai Co, a maker of Chinese liquor, advanced the most in a month after Xinhua News Agency reported retail and catering sales jumped 19 percent during the holiday. Air China Ltd rose 4.5 percent as a stronger Chinese currency will reduce the cost of financing US debt.
"Funds will increasingly flow into emerging markets such as China as growth remains resilient," said Daphne Roth, head of Asian equity research at ABN Amro Private Banking, which oversees about $14 billion in the region. "Expectations for a gradual appreciation in the yuan will also attract inflows."
The Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks the bigger of China's stock exchanges, surged 3.1 percent to 2,738.74 as of the 3 pm close, the most since May 24. The CSI 300 Index advanced 3.7 percent to 3,044.23. The yuan climbed 0.3 percent to 6.6715 against the dollar and touched 6.6703, the strongest level since the central bank unified official and market exchange rates at the end of 1993.
Moody's review of the A1 ranking, the fifth-highest, will be completed within three months, the ratings company said in an e-mailed statement on Friday.
"The resilient performance of the Chinese economy following the onset of the global financial crisis, and expectations of continued strong growth over the medium term" are the main reason for the review, Moody's said.
A gauge of energy companies in the CSI 300 soared 7.8 percent, the most since November 2008. PetroChina, Asia's biggest company by market value, jumped 2.9 percent to 10.47 yuan. Shenhua, the nation's largest coal producer, climbed 9.3 percent to 25.80 yuan.
"The winter consumption peak is coming, which will boost demand," Wu Jie, a Shanghai-based analyst at Orient Securities Ltd, said on Friday.
Zijin Mining Co and Jiangxi Copper Co rose by the 10 percent daily limit as gold reached a record in Shanghai and the price of copper advanced. Gold for December delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained as much as 1.3 percent to 286.79 yuan ($43) a gram, a record.
Copper for three-month delivery advanced as much as 0.6 percent to $8,150.50 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and headed for a 0.6 percent gain this week, the fourth consecutive weekly advance.