Stocks: Weekly review
Asian stocks fell, driving a regional benchmark index toward the biggest weekly drop in almost three years, on concern policy makers worldwide are running out of tools to avert another global economic recession.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s No. 1 mining company, slumped 3 percent in Sydney after crude oil and metal prices tumbled yesterday and today.
Korea Zinc Co., which produces gold and silver, plunged 15 percent in Seoul and Samsung Electronics Co., South Korea’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, lost 4.1 percent.
Esprit Holdings Ltd. (330), a clothing retailer that gets most of its revenue in Europe, sank 4.6 percent in Hong Kong, taking its losses in the last two weeks to 58 percent.
The Asia Pacific index pared declines today after finance chiefs from the Group of 20 nations said they would address “heightened downside risks” from sovereign debt and a slowing global economy. The gauge briefly resumed losses after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the long-term deposit and senior debt ratings of eight rated Greek banks by two levels.
European stocks last week fell to a two-year low after Fed statement, but increased slightly on Friday, stepping back from the lows after a meeting in connection with the G20 in Washington, politicians have reduced investor concern that the European debt crisis is spreading and the global economy is weakening.
For the week the London FTSE lost 5.62%, German DAX fell 6.48%
BNP Paribas (BNP) SA and Societe General SA led a rally in banks. Bayer AG (BAYN) climbed 7.1 percent as its Xarelto blood thinner-drug won European backing for use in irregular-heartbeat patients.
Despite Friday's relative calm on Wall Street, it was a brutal week for stocks, with investors losing faith in economies and political leaders around the world.
All three indexes fell by more than 5% for the week. The S&P 500 (SPX) was down 80 points, or 6.5% for the week, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq (COMP) dropped 139 points, or 5.6%. The Dow Jones industrial average closed the week down 738 points, or 6.4%, its worst weekly performance since October 2008.
In a subdued end to the calamitous week, U.S. stocks edged higher Friday afternoon, as investors tried to recover from Thursday's 3% slide. But the gains were limited as traders remained cautious amid worries about the global economy and Europe's debt crisis.
Home Depot Inc. (HD) and Intel Corp. (INTC) added at least 2 percent, pacing gains in companies most-tied to economic growth. Bank of America Corp. (BAC) rallied 4.1 percent, the most in the Dow, as the lender prepared more asset sales to bolster capital. Nike Inc. (NKE), the world’s largest sporting-goods maker, jumped 5.3 percent after profit topped analysts’ estimates and it raised a sales forecast. Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) and Halliburton Co. (HAL) retreated more than 3.2 percent as gold and oil prices slumped.