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Japanese stocks rose for a fourth day, the longest winning streak since July, with carmakers advancing as U.S. consumer spending rose more than forecast. Japan’s parliament today confirmed Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda as the next prime minister.
Honda Motor Co., which gets 40 percent of its revenue from North America, climbed 1 percent after U.S. auto sales increased and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke last week indicated the U.S. economy may not need more stimulus. Sony Corp. (6758) gained 3.5 percent after the Yomiuri newspaper reported it will form a venture to produce liquid-crystal displays with Toshiba Corp. (6502) and Hitachi Ltd. (6501)
For the month through yesterday, the Nikkei fell 8.9 percent, set for the biggest monthly loss since May 2010, while the Topix was down 8.8 percent.
European stocks rose for a second day as a rally in mining companies and U.K. banks outweighed a bigger-than-forecast decline in U.S. consumer confidence.
Rio Tinto Group pushed a gauge of basic-resources producers to the biggest increase in almost three weeks.
Rio Tinto, the world’s second-largest mining company, rallied 4.3 percent to 3,673.5 pence. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the biggest mining company, increased 4.3 percent to 2,042.5 pence while Xstrata Plc (XTA) added 4.7 percent to 1,025.5 pence.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) and Barclays Plc (BARC) climbed more than 6 percent. Ipsen SA (IPN), the French maker of a Botox rival, and Bunzl Plc (BNZL), the world’s biggest distributor of disposable tableware and food packaging, each surged 7.9 percent as earnings gained.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 1 percent to 230.64 at the 4:30 p.m. close in London, the highest in almost two weeks. The gauge has still tumbled 13 percent this month, the biggest drop since October 2008, as European and U.S. economic reports trailed forecasts, adding to concern that the economic recovery is at risk. The decline has left the measure trading at about 9.6 times estimated earnings, near the cheapest since March 2009
Gains in the Stoxx 600 were led by U.K. equities that missed out on yesterday’s rally because of a holiday. The Euro Stoxx 50 Index of the biggest companies in the euro area, which excludes British shares, slipped less than 0.1 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index (UKX) rallied 2.7 percent.
Equities in Europe pared their gains as a report showed confidence among U.S. consumers plunged in August to the lowest in more than two years.
U.S. stocks rose, amid a 152-point swing in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, after the Federal Reserve said some policy makers wanted to take more action to stimulate the economy during their meeting this month.
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and Boeing Co. (BA) rose more than 2.1 percent, pacing gains among companies most-tied to the economy. Monster Worldwide Inc. (MWW), the provider of help-wanted ads, advanced 18 percent, building on its 13 percent rally during the past two days. Bank of America Corp. (BAC) fell 2.4 percent as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. objected to the lender’s proposed $8.5 billion mortgage-bond settlement with investors.
The S&P 500 added 0.3 percent to 1,213.72 at 2:58 p.m. in New York, recovering from a 1.2 percent drop driven by consumer confidence sinking to a 28-month low. The Dow rose 37.35 points, or 0.3 percent, to 11,576.60.
“You still have the Fed in your corner,” Mark Foster, who helps manage $500 million at Kirr Marbach & Co. in Columbus, Indiana, said in a telephone interview. “That gives you confidence in a market like this especially after the volatility we’ve seen in the last few weeks, which was so unsettling.”
The S&P 500 rose to the highest level since Aug. 3 yesterday after surging 7.7 percent in six days. Equities gained 8.1 percent between Aug. 8 and yesterday after the loss of the U.S. government’s AAA credit rating left the S&P 500 trading for 12.2 times earnings, the lowest level since 2009.
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