Stocks: Tuesday’s review
Asian stocks fell, extending a two- week decline on the region’s benchmark stock index, after Italy’s sovereign-credit ratings were cut, intensifying concern Europe’s debt crisis is worsening and may sour the earnings outlook for exporters, banks and commodity producers.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s biggest mining company, dropped 2.1 percent in Sydney as crude and metal prices tumbled.
Rio Tinto Group, the second-largest miner by sales, fell 1.9 percent, extending losses yesterday.
Sony Corp. (6758) slumped 4.1 percent, leading exporters’ shares lower after Japanese markets resumed trading following yesterday’s public holiday.
China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd., the nation’s No. 2 mobile phone carrier, rose 3.9 percent in Hong Kong after boosting subscribers.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (8306), Japan’s biggest lender by market value, declined 2.9 percent to 335 yen on concern Europe’s debt crisis may spill over into the banking system.
European stocks climbed as Greece described its debt talks with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund as “productive” and investors speculated the Federal Reserve will provide more stimulus.
EON AG and RWE AG (RWE), Germany’s biggest utilities, climbed more than 3.5 percent after a court suspended a nuclear-fuel tax.
Barratt Developments Plc (BDEV) surged 5.7 percent after Citigroup Inc. advised buying the shares. SAP AG (SAP) rose 2.3 percent.
The Federal Reserve, led by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, will decide tomorrow to replace short-term Treasuries with long-term bonds, according to the majority of economists.
National benchmark indexes rose in every western-European market except Greece and Iceland today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index advanced 2 percent, Germany’s DAX Index gained 2.9
The IMF said that the program carried out by the government had produced “impressive fiscal consolidation,” while EU economics spokesman Amadeu Altafaj told reporters in Brussels yesterday that the European Commission has not demanded more of Greece than was agreed to in the international aid program for the country.
S&P said Italy’s net general government debt is the highest among A-rated sovereigns, and the company expects it to peak later and at a higher level than it had estimated.