Asian stocks rose as investors weighed earnings reports in Japan ahead of manufacturing data that may provide a clue to the strength of China’s economic growth.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.2 percent to 141.08 as of 9:07 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge is on course to decline 0.9 percent this week and 3.5 percent in July, which would be its worst monthly drop this year. China discloses July factory output on Saturday, after a private report showed manufacturing unexpectedly fell to a 15-month low in the month. Today is the busiest day of Japan’s earnings season, with more than 310 Topix companies scheduled to post results.

Japan’s Topix index gained 0.2 percent. Sony Corp. profit tripled in the first quarter as a renewed focus on sensor chips and video games begins to pay off for an electronics maker that posted losses in six of the past seven years. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 0.1 percent, dragged down by its heaviest-weighted companies, Fast Retailing Co. and Fanuc Corp.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.4 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.1 percent.

Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and contracts on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index both rose 0.1 percent. FTSE China A50 Index futures added 0.8 percent in Singapore.

Source : Bloomberg