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Emerging Stocks Gain as European Futures Fall With Nickel, Gold

Emerging market stocks advanced,
led by Chinese shares, as a contraction in the nation’s
manufacturing spurred speculation the government will do more to
boost growth. European equity futures fell with nickel and gold.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 0.9 percent by 7:06
a.m. in London as a measure of Chinese companies in Hong Kong
gained a second day after entering a bear market last week.
Contracts on the Euro Stoxx 50 declined 0.6 percent as those on
the Standard Poor’s 500 Index were up 0.3 percent. Nickel
retreated 0.8 percent, while gold slid for the fifth time in six
days and silver decreased 0.9 percent. The yen weakened.

China’s leaders pledged to accelerate policies to support
the world’s second-largest economy, as data signals a slowdown
is deepening. France, Germany, the euro zone and the U.S. also
publish early indicators for March manufacturing today. U.S.
President Barack Obama arrives in Europe as Russia, which
completed its annexation of Crimea last week, masses soldiers on
the border with Ukraine.

“The worse the PMI data is, the bigger the chance of
stimulus, so perhaps people are looking at it that way,” said
Dariusz Kowalczyk, a Credit Agricole CIB strategist in Hong
Kong. (HSCEI) “The negative data would probably only strengthen the
resolve of those in government who want to spend more money and
limit losses.”

Hang Seng

Today’s preliminary purchasing managers’ index from HSBC
Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was at 48.1, from a final
reading of 48.5 in February and below the 48.7 median estimate
of 22 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

About two stocks rose for each that fell on the Asia-Pacific equity measure, which advanced 1 percent after the gauge
dropped 4.6 percent in the past two weeks. Australia’s SP/ASX
index increased 0.2 percent while shares in Seoul gained 0.6
percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 1.7 percent amid volume
that was more than 70 percent higher than the 30-day average for
the time of day. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of
Chinese companies listed in the city increased 2.9 percent after
a 2.4 percent advance on March 21.

“We expect Beijing to launch a series of policy measures
to stabilize growth,” Qu Hongbin, Hong Kong-based chief China
economist at HSBC, said in a statement.

All but five of 33 industries on Japan’s Topix rose. The
yen retreated 0.2 percent against the dollar amid bets the Bank
of Japan will boost stimulus to ease the impact of a planned tax
increase due to take effect next week.

Micex, Ruble

Global stocks are down 1.3 percent this month as a run of
disappointing economic reports and corporate defaults in China
dented the outlook for global growth. Russia’s annexation of the
Black Sea region of Crimea from Ukraine spurred losses, with the
U.S. and Europe levying sanctions against businesspeople and
members of President Vladimir Putin’s administration.

The Micex Index of stocks in Moscow climbed 1.2 percent
today. Russia’s ruble gained 0.4 percent to 36.1380 versus the
dollar.

Ukraine’s foreign minister said the risk of war was growing
amid calls from U.S. lawmakers for more Western support for the
Kiev government. U.S. officials said Russian troops are massed
along virtually the entire Ukrainian border and have about
doubled in number from when Moscow’s defense ministry first
announced military exercises.

Nickel fell to $15,964 a ton in London. Copper for delivery
in three months retreated as much as 0.9 percent to $6,419.75 a
metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and was little changed
at $6,483. The price touched $6,321 on March 19, the lowest
level since July 2010.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Nick Gentle in Hong Kong at
ngentle2@bloomberg.net;
Rachel Evans in Hong Kong at
revans43@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Nick Gentle at
ngentle2@bloomberg.net;
Sandy Hendry at
shendry@bloomberg.net
Robin Ganguly

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