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Japanese stocks rose for a second day after the biggest three-day rally on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since 2009 boosted investor confidence following three weeks of losses.
Sony Corp. (6758), Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, advanced 0.4 percent.
Mitsubishi Corp. (8058), the country’s largest trading house by market value, gained 0.7 percent as oil traded near its highest in two weeks.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. led declines among power companies after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said uncertainty surrounding government policy makes utilities a poor long-term investment.
The Topix lost 7.4 percent this month amid concern Europe’s debt crisis will damage the banking system and damp demand in one of Japan’s biggest export markets. Japanese stocks also fell after Standard & Poor’s on Aug. 5 cut its rating on U.S. government debt.
Most European stocks fell, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index snapping its biggest three-day rally since May 2010, as the economies of the euro area and Germany grew at a slower-than-estimated pace.
Gross domestic product in the 17-nation euro area rose 0.2 percent from the first quarter, when it increased 0.8 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said in a statement today. That’s the worst performance since the euro region emerged from a recession in late 2009. Economists had forecast the economy to expand 0.3 percent.
Germany’s economy, Europe’s largest, almost stalled in the second quarter. Gross domestic product, adjusted for seasonal effects, climbed 0.1 percent from the first quarter, when it jumped a revised 1.3 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Economists had predicted growth of 0.5 percent.
Terna Rete Elettrica Nazionale SpA (TRN) retreated 14 percent as investors speculated that taxes will lessen the Italian power- grid operator’s earnings. Enel SpA (ENEL), Italy’s largest power producer, decreased 4.3 percent. Severn Trent Plc (SVT), Pennon Group Plc (PNN) and United Utilities Group Plc (UU/) declined more than 1 percent as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recommended selling the shares of the U.K. utilities.
Stocks recouped some losses as Fitch Ratings affirmed its AAA credit rating on the U.S. and industrial production in the world’s largest economy climbed in July by the most this year
U.S. stocks fell, following the biggest three-day rally for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since 2009, as slower-than-estimated growth in Europe offset the strongest gain this year for American industrial production.
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), Ford Motor Co. (F) and 3M Co. (MMM) dropped at least 1.7 percent, pacing losses in companies most-tied to the economy. Alcoa Inc. (AA) and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) declined more than 1.6 percent as commodity prices sank. Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) retreated at least 3.2 percent after billionaire John Paulson reduced his positions in both lenders last quarter as financial shares slumped.
The S&P 500 has fallen as much as 18 percent since April 29 on concern about Europe’s debt crisis, S&P’s downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and as reports on manufacturing and consumer spending showed the world’s largest economy is slowing. The index rallied 7.5 percent over the last three days amid a decline in jobless claims, an increase in retail sales and corporate takeovers.
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