Asian stocks rose after a report showed American consumer spending supported growth in the world’s largest economy and oil climbed. New Zealand’s dollar held its advance.
The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index added 0.2 percent, with material and energy shares leading gains. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased for a second day Tuesday on thin volume as figures showed gross domestic product climbed at a revised 2 percent annualized rate last quarter. West Texas Intermediate rose above $36 a barrel, buoying currencies of commodity-producing nations. The kiwi and Australian dollars maintained most of those gains Wednesday, with Japanese markets closed for a holiday.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.8 percent as of 11:18 a.m. in Sydney, rising for a sixth day with volume about half the average for the time of day. South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.1 percent. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 0.7 percent, advancing for a seventh day. Contracts on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng China Enterprises Index climbed 0.1 percent.
Futures on the S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent after the underlying gauge added 0.9 percent Tuesday. The index has fallen 2 percent in December, historically a month when investors reap gains. After rebounding as much as 13 percent from its summer low through early November, the gauge has retreated, leaving it lower by 1 percent in 2015.