Stocks: Thursday's review
Japanese stocks fell for the first time in three days as commodities tumbled amid concern that global inflation may curb economic growth.
Inpex Corp., the nation’s largest oil explorer, slumped 3.6 percent, even after saying full-year profit advanced.
Crude oil for June delivery plunged 5.5 percent to settle at $98.21 a barrel yesterday in New York after an Energy Department report showed that U.S. supplies surged as demand for fuel slipped.
Mitsubishi Corp. (8058), Japan’s biggest commodities trader, slid 2 percent to 2,112 yen and Mitsui & Co., a trading house that counts commodities as its largest source of profit, sank 1.4 percent to 1,391 yen.
Copper yesterday fell to the lowest price in five months after China reported inflation remains above the government’s target, signaling further monetary-policy tightening that may curb metal demand. Consumer prices rose 5.3 percent from a year earlier and banks extended 740 billion yuan ($114 billion) of local-currency loans, according to reports yesterday from the statistics bureau and central bank.
Nikon Corp., a camera maker that gets a quarter of its revenue from Europe, lost 1.9 percent as the euro weakened against the yen on concern European leaders are slowing the drive to grant Greece additional aid. Tokyo Electric Power Co. plunged 8.8 percent after saying fuel rods are fully exposed in the No. 1 reactor at its stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant.
European stocks fell, sending the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index down for the first time in three days, led by a selloff in metal and oil producers as commodities extended yesterday’s rout.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Rio Tinto Group each lost more than 1 percent after copper slumped to a five-month low yesterday. Insurers declined as companies from Allianz SE (ALV) to Aegon NA reported earnings. Thales SA (HO) dropped 2.7 percent on a report that the company may make a cash contribution as part of an asset swap with Safran SA.
Commodities fell for a second day as investors speculated that China will raise interest rates to contain inflation, curbing demand for raw materials. The People’s Bank of China today raised its lenders’ reserve requirements for the fifth time this year to restrain prices.
U.S. stock-index futures declined as Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO)’s earnings forecast missed analysts’ estimates and commodities tumbled for a second day after China raised banks’ reserve requirements.
Cisco, the world’s largest maker of networking gear, lost 3 percent in early New York trading. Symantec Corp. (SYMC), the biggest maker of security software, slid 1.1 percent.
Copper tumbled to a five-month low in London as China raised banks’ reserve requirements for the fifth time this year to restrain prices, adding to the likelihood that growth will slow in the world’s second-biggest economy.
Reserve ratios will increase 0.5 percentage point from May 18, the People’s Bank of China said. The requirements currently stand at 20.5 percent for the biggest lenders.
Crude for June delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell as much as 2.6 percent to $95.68 a barrel, extending yesterday’s 5.5 percent plunge. The International Energy Agency trimmed its 2011 global oil demand forecast for the first time as this year’s price rally begins to weigh on consumption.