Asian stocks fell after Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou agreed to step down and as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi struggled to keep his majority ahead of a crucial parliamentary vote tomorrow.
The refusal of major economies to offer more aid reflected irritation with Europe’s failure to resolve its crisis and foiled investor hopes that the summit would mark a turning point. The turmoil instead flared again with Berlusconi’s allies pressuring him to step aside as the contagion from the region’s sovereign-debt crisis pushed Italy’s borrowing costs to euro-era records.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average lost 0.4 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.8 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.7 percent. South Korea’s Kospi Index retreated 0.5 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2 percent. No
Financial stocks were the biggest drags on the Asia-Pacific index. European finance chiefs return to Brussels today on a mission to convince global leaders that they can shield countries such as Italy and Spain from the spreading debt crisis by bulking out their bailout fund. Greek leaders are also meeting today to pick a new prime minister after Papandreou said he won’t lead the new government.
HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest lender by market value, slipped 1 percent in Hong Kong on speculation bank earnings will be hurt if Europe fails to contain its sovereign-debt crisis. Standard Chartered Plc, the U.K.’s second-biggest lender by market value, dropped 1.9 percent to HK$174.30. Macquarie Group Ltd., the Australian investment bank that gets 16 percent of revenue from Europe, fell 1.3 percent to A$23.04.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. declined 2.3 percent after the Japanese drugmaker slashed its full-year profit outlook. The company cut its full-year net income forecast by 32 percent to 170 billion yen ($2.18 billion) on costs related to the acquisition of Swiss rival Nycomed in September.
Furukawa Electric Co., a Japanese cable maker, dropped 12 percent to 192 yen in Tokyo trading, the most since October 2008, after forecasting a full-year net loss of 5 billion yen.
Cnooc fell 2.2 percent to HK$14.92. The company’s deal to buy BP’s $7.1 billion stake in Pan American Energy collapsed, 10 days after Argentina’s president ordered oil companies to repatriate export revenue.
Among stocks that advanced, Osaka Securities Exchange Co. climbed 7.3 percent to 391,500 yen in Tokyo, the biggest advance since August. The Nikkei newspaper said Tokyo Stock Exchange Group Inc. entered late-stage takeover talks to buy the bourse operator next year, uniting Japan’s largest markets.
Computershare Ltd., an Australian share registrar, surged 16 percent to A$8.44 in Sydney, the most in seven years, after receiving U.S. antitrust clearance for its purchase of Bank of New York Mellon’s shareowner services unit.
European stocks dropped, extending last week’s selloff, as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi struggled to hold power before a budget vote and Greece worked on plans to form a new government.
In Italy, Berlusconi’s majority is unraveling before a key parliamentary vote tomorrow on the 2010 budget report as contagion from Europe’s sovereign debt crisis pushed the country’s borrowing costs to euro-era records. The yield on Italy’s 10-year bonds surged to as much as 6.68 percent today. Stocks pared losses as Berlusconi’s former spokesman Giuliano Ferrara said the Italian premier is likely to decide on his political future “within hours,” with his formal resignation coming next week after he secures parliamentary approval of austerity and economic-growth measures. Reports of his resignation were “totally unfounded,” Berlusconi said in an interview with newspaper Libero.
The Stoxx 600 dropped 3.7 percent last week after a failed attempt by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to hold a referendum on the latest bailout package spurred concern Greece may default. Papandreou yesterday agreed to step down to allow the creation of a new national unity government intended to secure international financing and avert a collapse of the country’s economy.
National benchmark indexes fell in 10 of the 18 western European markets today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.3 percent while France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX Index lost 0.6 percent.
European retail sales fell more than forecast in September as the debt crisis prompted households to cut spending. Sales in the 17-nation euro region decreased 0.7 percent from August, the European Union’s statistics office said today. Carrefour SA fell 2.6 percent as euro-region retail sales fell and Citigroup Inc. downgraded the shares. Carrefour SA fell 2.6 percent as euro-region retail sales fell and Citigroup Inc. downgraded the shares., Germany’s largest retailer, lost 2.1 percent, while Hennes & Mauritz AB slid 1.1 percent to 209.30 kronor in Stockholm.
PostNL NV slid 7.4 percent as the biggest Dutch postal operator said third-quarter operating profit fell 22 percent as domestic mail deliveries declined.
National Bank of Greece SA and Piraeus Bank SA advanced more than 4 percent in Athens.
Sandvik AB lost 3.2 percent to 86.55 kronor after the world’s largest maker of metal-cutting tools offered 6.19 billion kronor ($933 million) to buy the remaining shares of its subsidiary Seco Tools AB to expand its new machine solutions business area. Seco rose 27 percent to 103.30 kronor.
Ryanair Holdings Plc added 5.1 percent to 3.52 euros after Europe’s largest discount airline raised its full-year profit forecast by 10 percent to 440 million euros ($606 million) as higher ticket prices offset a slowdown in growth.
Bayer AG advanced 2.5 percent to 46.03 euros after its blood thinner Xarelto won approval in the U.S. to prevent strokes in people with atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that affects more than 2 million Americans.
U.S. stocks rose, following the first weekly retreat in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since September, as the European Central Bank’s Juergen Stark said the region’s debt crisis will be under control in two years. Italian 10-year borrowing costs surged to a euro-era record amid concern the region’s third-largest economy is struggling to manage its debt loads, while growth in Europe is faltering. Investors are betting Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi may be forced to resign if he fails to win majority support in tomorrow’s vote on the 2010 budget report.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou agreed yesterday to step down, paving the way for the creation of a new government to get international aid and avert a default. European finance chiefs meet in Brussels today to work on a plan to raise the region’s bailout fund.
Home Depot Inc. (HD) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) gained at least 2.6 percent, for the biggest advances in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Amgen Inc., the largest biotechnology company, jumped 5.9 percent after saying it is planning to buy back as much as $5 billion in shares.
First Solar Inc., the world’s largest maker of thin-film solar panels, dropped 3.7 percent as two Chinese solar companies cut forecasts for shipments.
Jefferies Group Inc. added 1.4 percent to $12.24. The New York-based firm cut gross holdings in sovereign securities of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain by almost 50 percent since last week’s close of trading, to show how easily it can reduce funds at risk.