Stocks: Wednesday's review
Most Asian stocks rose as speculation China may begin easing monetary policy tempered uncertainty about the outcome of European debt-crisis talks. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that economic policy will be fine-tuned as needed and the industry ministry said it is studying “stimulative policies” for smaller companies as a global slowdown threatens growth.Stocks fell earlier after the cancellation of a meeting of European Union finance ministers spurred concern that the region’s leaders will fail to agree on how to tame the sovereign-debt crisis. European leaders will hold a summit today in Brussels as they seek to bolster a rescue fund, recapitalize banks and provide debt relief to Greece.Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 0.2 percent, paring a loss of as much as 1.4 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.4 percent, reversing an earlier loss of as much as 1.3 percent after a report showed inflation slowed last quarter. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.5 percent.Asian exporters fell. Honda Motor Co., Japan’s second largest carmaker by market value, fell 0.6 percent to 2,329 yen. Samsung Electronics Co., South Korea’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, retreated 1.2 percent to 934,000 won.Aluminum Corp. advanced 3.9 percent to HK$4.05 in Hong Kong after saying it turned to profit in the third quarter.Gold producers advanced as futures on the precious metal extended a 2.9 percent advance in New York yesterday. Newcrest Mining rose 3.5 percent to A$34.40. Rival St. Barbara Ltd. added 2.3 percent to A$2.23.
European stocks advanced as the region’s leaders gathered in Brussels for the second summit in four days to address the debt crisis and after U.S. durable- goods orders and home sales topped forecasts. European leaders are meeting in Brussels for the 14th crisis summit in 21 months to discuss Greece’s second bailout, the recapitalization of banks and strengthening the 440 billion- euro ($612 billion) rescue fund into a more potent weapon. German lawmakers backed increasing the bailout fund’s capacity today, removing one hurdle in the path of a regional agreement. EU leaders may ask national finance ministers to determine the firepower of the expanded European Financial Stability Facility by the end of November, an EU official said. In the U.S., orders for durable goods excluding transportation equipment rose in September by the most in six months, showing manufacturing is supporting the expansion. Purchases of new houses gained more than forecast as discounted prices lured buyers in some parts of the country.
National benchmark indexes climbed in 10 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.5 percent, while Germany’s DAX declined 0.5 percent and France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.2 percent.
Merck KGaA advanced 8.5 percent to 65.07 euros, the biggest gain since January 2009. The German maker of cancer drug Erbitux reported third-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates because of growth at the Merck Serono pharmaceutical and Millipore equipment businesses.
Nyrstar declined 8.5 percent to 6.14 euros in Brussels, the biggest drop in two months. The zinc producer lowered its forecast for output from mines because of lower-than-expected deliveries from Talvivaara Mining Co.’s Finnish site, where it has an offtake agreement.
Adidas AG, the world’s second-biggest sporting goods maker, slid 3 percent to 49.68 euros as Morgan Stanley cut its recommendation on the shares to “equal weight” from “overweight.” The brokerage said the company faces an increase in costs as it expands, while a slowdown in China is a “potential risk” to momentum.
Areva SA declined 3.2 percent 21.38 euros as the world’s largest builder of atomic plants said its FBFC International subsidiary may progressively close its nuclear fuel fabrication site in Dessel, Belgium, citing overcapacities on western European markets. U.S. stocks rose as Europe reached an agreement on plans to recapitalize banks and American economic reports surpassed forecasts. European Union leaders said in a statement that they reached an agreement on a plan to recapitalize banks. The European leaders convened for the second summit in four days -- and the 14th in 21 months -- amid mounting global exasperation over their failure to extinguish the two-year-old crisis that now threatens to ravage Italy and France and brake the world economy. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel want to meet Greek creditors in Brussels tonight to break a deadlock of the terms of a debt writedown, said a person familiar with the matter. Sarkozy plans to call Chinese leader Hu Jintao tomorrow to discuss China contributing to a fund European leaders may set up to bolster its debt-crisis fight, according to a person familiar with the matter.Stocks also rose as a report showed that orders for U.S. durable goods excluding transportation equipment rose in September by the most in six months. Separate data showed purchases of new houses increased more than forecast in September as discounted prices lured buyers in some parts of the country.Dow 11,706.62 -207.00 -1.74%, Nasdaq 2,638.42 -61.02 -2.26%, S&P 500 1,229.05 -25.14 -2.00% Boeing (ВА) gained 4.5 percent, the most in the Dow, to $66.56. The company topped profit estimates for the quarter when it delivered the first 787 Dreamliner and said the new model’s production costs will be spread over 1,100 planes, matching analysts’ projections.Amazon.com tumbled 13 percent, the biggest decline since 2008, to $198.40. The company is sacrificing profit margins in search of sales volume and market-share gains. Amazon will sell its Kindle Fire tablet for as low as $199, less than half the price of Apple Inc.’s cheapest iPad.Ford Motor Co. dropped 4.5 percent to $11.87. The company said its automotive operating profit margin may fall this year to 5.7 percent from 6.1 percent last year and 6.5 percent in the first nine months of the year, primarily because of a loss on commodity hedges.