Stocks: Tuesday’s review
Asian stocks rose, sending a regional index toward its biggest four-day advance since March 2009, as Chinese lenders surged after a state-owned investment company bought bank shares and Japanese equities climbed on resuming trade from a holiday.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1.7 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 2 percent today as the nation’s markets resumed trading following a public holiday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 2.4 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.6 percent and South Korea’s Kospi Index climbed 1.6 percent.Bank of China surged 7.7 percent to HK$2.65 in Hong Kong after Central Huijin began buying shares in the nation’s four biggest banks following a drop in valuations to below levels reached during the global financial crisis. Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. jumped 13 percent to HK$2.99. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. rose 6.7 percent to HK$4.31 and China Construction Bank Corp. rallied 5.8 percent to HK$5.11.Mitsubishi Corp., Japan’s biggest commodities trader, gained 1.8 percent to 1,508 yen in Tokyo. Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second-largest mining company for sales, rose 0.9 percent to A$68. Korea Zinc Co., which producer zinc as well as gold and silver, surged 4.4 percent to 296,500 won in Seoul and Cnooc added 3.9 percent to HK$13.72 in Hong Kong.Esprit Holdings Ltd., a Hong Kong-listed global clothing retailer, advanced 12 percent to HK$11 after hedge fund Lone Pine Capital LLC increased its stake to become the company’s second-biggest shareholder.European stocks fell, snapping a four-day rally, as investors awaited the start of the U.S. earnings season amid uncertainty that Slovakia will ratify the euro area’s revised bailout fund.FTSE 100 5,396 -3.30 -0.06%, CAC 40 3,154 -7.95 -0.25%, DAX 5,865 +17.72 +0.30%National benchmark indexes fell in 15 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 declined 0.1 percent and France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.3 percent, while Germany’s DAX added 0.3 percent.The four biggest Greek lenders fell more than 16 percent. National Bank of Greece sank 16 percent to 1.60 euros and EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA retreated 20 percent to 56 euro cents. Piraeus Bank SA tumbled 20 percent to 25.4 euro cents, while Alpha Bank SA dropped 19 percent to 83 euro cents.ASML Holding NV and STMicroelectronics NV led semiconductor shares lower after analyst downgrades. Remy Cointreau SA, the maker of Remy Martin, advanced after Berenberg Bank recommended buying the shares.Actelion Ltd., Switzerland’s largest biotechnology company, increased 5.1 percent to 32.46 francs after Jefferies Group Inc. upgraded the shares to “buy” from “hold.”Most U.S. stocks advanced, following the biggest rally since August for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as optimism about third-quarter corporate earnings overshadowed concern about Europe’s debt crisis.Dow 11,416.30 -16.88 -0.15%, Nasdaq 2,583 +16.98 +0.66%, S&P 500 1,195.54 +0.65 +0.05%
Alcoa Inc., the biggest U.S. aluminum producer, rose 3 percent ahead of its quarterly results today. Mosaic Co. jumped 5.4 percent, pacing gains in fertilizer producers, as Credit Suisse Group AG said the industry’s valuations “look highly compelling.” Apple Inc., the largest technology company, climbed 3 percent. AMR Corp. rallied 8.4 percent as American Airlines joined its bigger U.S. peers with deeper seating cuts.