Asian stocks rose for the first time in five days as Greece scrapped a plan to hold a referendum on a bailout package and the European Central Bank cut interest rates, reducing concern the debt crisis will spur a credit crunch. Stocks tumbled in the last four days after Prime Minister George Papandreou announced on Oct. 31 a parliamentary confidence vote and his desire to hold a referendum on Europe’s rescue pact.Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 1.9 percent as it resumed trading following a holiday yesterday. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 2.6 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index increased 3.1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 0.8 percent.HSBC climbed 3.2 percent to HK$67.60 in Hong Kong. Standard Chartered Plc, the U.K.’s second-largest lender by market value, gained 2.8 percent to HK$177.70.Construction machinery makers and other industrial companies advanced after a report showed factory orders in the U.S. unexpectedly increased in September. Komatsu surged 6.9 percent to 1,970 yen. Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., a maker of bulldozers and crawler cranes, climbed 5.6 percent to 1,537 yen. Fanuc Corp., which makes industrial robots, rose 4.3 percent to 12,880 yen.Gauges of raw material producers and energy companies led the advance among the 10 industry groups in the Asian benchmark index after a gauge of six metals including copper and aluminum rose for a second day in London yesterday. Crude oil for December delivery gained 1.7 percent in New York. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, advanced 3.9 percent to A$37.95 in Sydney. Glencore International Plc, the world’s largest commodities trader, rose 2.7 percent to HK$54.30 in Hong Kong. Jiangxi Copper Co., China’s No. 1 producer of the metal, increased 5.1 percent to HK$19.44.China’s energy companies rallied in Hong Kong after the China Securities Journal reported the mainland government, which controls fuel prices, would allow oil refiners to independently make “appropriate” price changes. Sinopec, as the oil refiner is known, surged 8.3 percent to HK$7.92. PetroChina Co., the nation’s biggest energy company, advanced 3.9 percent to HK$10.04.Sony, Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, tumbled 7.9 percent to 1,400 yen, the most since March 15. The company predicted a full-year loss of 90 billion yen ($1.2 billion) because of a strong yen, waning television sales and flooding in Thailand.
European stocks fell, capping the first weekly decline in six weeks, after the Group of 20 failed to agree on boosting the International Monetary Fund’s resources and German factory data fueled concern the region is slipping into recession.
Global policy makers are awaiting more details of a week- old rescue package before they commit fresh cash to the IMF which could then lend to Europe’s bailout facility, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the end of a G-20 summit in Cannes, France. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said it may take until February for a deal.
German factory orders unexpectedly plunged in September as demand from the euro region slumped, adding to signs the debt crisis is damping growth in Europe’s largest economy. Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, fell 4.3 percent from August, when they dropped 1.4 percent, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said in a statement today. It’s the third straight month orders have declined.
National benchmark indexes retreated in all but three of the 18 western European markets. France’s CAC 40 dropped 2.3 percent and Germany’s DAX declined 2.7 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 slid 0.3 percent.
Alcatel-Lucent SA, France’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, slumped to the lowest price in more than two years as it cut its full-year profit margin forecast.
Commerzbank AG dropped 6.3 percent after reporting a bigger- than-estimated quarterly loss on Greek-debt writedowns.
Fiat SpA, Italy’s biggest automaker, lost 5.5 percent to 4.14 euros as a gauge of European carmakers was the worst performer of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600, sliding 3.5 percent.
Hermes International SCA, the French maker of Birkin bags and silk scarves, advanced 3.1 percent to 252.20 euros after raising its full-year revenue growth target to a range of 15 percent to 16 percent at constant exchange rates, from its previous forecast for an increase of as much as 14 percent.
Lundin Petroleum AB rose 2.6 percent to 173.50 kronor, the highest price since at least September 2001.
Rheinmetall AG, the maker of defense equipment and car parts, jumped 5.8 percent to 37.15 euros after Juergen Pieper, an analyst at Bankhaus Metzler, upgraded the company’s shares to “buy” from “sell.”U.S. stocks fell, driving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its first weekly decline since September, as a disagreement on Europe’s resources to fight the debt crisis offset a drop in the American unemployment rate. Global stocks slumped today as the Group of 20 nations failed to agree on increasing the International Monetary Fund’s resources to fight Europe’s debt crisis. Ruling party lawmakers urged Papandreou to step aside and allow the formation of a new government that can approve the bailout plan for Greece. The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to a six-month low of 9 percent from 9.1 percent, even as the labor force expanded. The 80,000 increase in payrolls followed gains in the prior two months that were revised up by 102,000.Dow 11,983.24 -61.23 -0.51%, Nasdaq 2,686.15 -11.82 -0.44%, S&P 500 1,253.23 -7.92 -0.63%Financial stocks had the biggest decline in the S&P 500 among 10 industries, falling 1.4 percent as a group. Bank of America Corp. (BAC) tumbled 6.1 percent as a plan to bolster its balance sheet renewed concern that shareholders may see their stakes diluted. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) raised its 2011 earnings-per-share estimate for the S&P 500 to $97.75 from $97, citing “impressive” third-quarter profits. Per-share earnings beat estimates at about three-quarters of the companies in the S&P 500 that released results since Oct. 11, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.American International Group Inc. slumped 2.9 percent after posting its biggest loss since 2009. The quarterly loss casts doubt on the insurer’s ability to benefit from more than $25 billion in assets that can be used to lower future tax bills. The fourth quarter will be “very important” in determining whether AIG can lower a so-called valuation allowance that has restricted the company’s use of the tax assets, the insurer said late yesterday.LinkedIn Corp. tumbled 5.9 percent as spending on research and development drove the professional-networking website to a loss. The company, which first sold shares to the public in May, is increasing spending on research, sales and marketing, and office expansions to boost the company’s global presence and attract more recent college graduates to the site.Starbucks Corp. rallied 6.7 percent to $44.19. The world’s largest coffee-shop operator said fourth-quarter profit rose 29 percent as U.S. sales increased. Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz has sought to boost sales by selling Via instant coffee that customers can brew at home.