Stocks: Thursday's review
On Thursday Asian markets ended session mixed
The markets were supported by results of a preliminary meeting of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Berlin. The officials agreed a “common position” on a new bailout plan for Greece.
Chinese stocks appeared under pressure by its morning data as July China HSBC/Markit purchasing managers index sang to 48.9 from 50.1 in June. This is a 28-month low of the figure.
The IMF said that China also faced the risk of a possible property bubble and a decline in credit quality in the lending and forecasted the growth of China’s GDP of 9.5% by 2012.
The rise in banking shares came after media reports that Germany and France had reached a joint agreement on a Greek bailout deal ahead of the talks: National Australia Bank Ltd. added 1.28%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia climbed by 0.38%.
Shares of Fast Retailing Co. jumped 2.85% after Nomura lifted its earnings forecasts for the firm to reflect potentially lower cotton prices.
Shares of Aluminium Corp. of China Ltd. (-1.86%) and Jiangxi Copper Co. (-2.80%) sustained losses after the weak China PMI data.
Shares of LG Chem Ltd. (-6.5%) and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. (-2.3) plunged amid disappointing quarterly reports.
Despite weak quarterly report of Ericsson AB the major European stock markets soared on bets the European Financial Stability Facility may guarantee Greek bonds and better-than-expected results from Morgan Stanley MS.
Shares the largest maker of wireless networks Ericsson AB fell by 9.68% after the company reported profit that missed analysts' estimates;
Mobile-phone maker Nokia Corp. rallied 2.5% after the group swung to an operating loss of 487 million euros but said it’s making better-than-expected progress in a major restructuring plan.
Car makers dropped in the wake of the weak PMI data from China and Europe: BMW dropped by 1.1%, Volkswagen AG lost 2.72%.
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca PLC was another top performer, rising by 1.96% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its Brilinta anti-clotting drug.
Shares of companies of banking sector also closed higher: Barclays PLC +3.49%, Lloyds Banking Group PLC +5.90%. Morgan Stanley MS jumped by 10.59% after better-than-expected quarterly results.
Major US stock equities soared to 2-week highs on weakened concerns about EU debt crisis and a bundle of earnings reports from the largest US companies.
Financial sector surged by 2.4% as Morgan Stanley (+11.74%) announced better-than-expected quarterly report.
Technology sector (+0.8%) gained the least among others amid disappointing reports from Intel and Seagate.
SFN Group, Inc. (SFN) soared by 50.98% after Randstad Holding NV (RAND), the Netherlands-based human-resources company, said it will acquire staffing-services provider SFN Group Inc. for about $770 million.
MedcoHealth Solutions Inc. (MHS) added 6.28% as Express Scripts Inc. agreed to buy the pharmacy-benefits manager for $29.1 billion.
As for falling shares, the publisher of travel newsletters and websites Travelzoo Inc. (TZOO) shed 33.95% after posted lower-than-expected quarterly results.
According to released Labor Department's weekly report, the initial claims rose by 10,000 to 418,000 last week. Economists forecasted the figure's level of 411,000.