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17.11.2011 08:00

Stocks: Wednesday’s review

Asian stocks fell for a second day after Italian bond yields rose amid concern Italy’s new government will struggle to trim its debt and keep Europe’s crisis from spreading. Stocks fell after Italy’s 10-year yield rose again above the 7 percent threshold that prompted Greece to seek a bailout. Italy’s prime minister designate Mario Monti prepares to meet President Giorgio Napolitano today to present his new government.

The Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average dropped 0.9 percent as the Bank of Japan cut assessment of the country’s economy. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.9 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 2 percent after the International Monetary Fund said Hong Kong’s “rapid” credit growth has increased the risk that banks make bad loans.

Asian exporters and banks tied to Europe declined. HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest lender, lost 2.1 percent to HK$60.75. Sony Corp., which depends on Europe for 21 percent of its sales, fell 3.3 percent. Esprit slid 4.3 percent to HK$9.61. The clothier, which has lost more than 70 percent of its value this year, will be removed from the MSCI Hong Kong Index at the end of the month, the gauge’s compiler said.

Guangzhou R&F Properties Company lost 5.2 percent to HK$6.54 after Guangzhou’s city government suspended tenders of land-use rights for seven sites until further notice, according to a statement yesterday on the city’s Municipal Land Resources and Housing Administrative Bureau.

Shares of Olympus, which lost 81 percent in the month to Nov. 11, rose for a third day by its daily limit as investors bet declines were overdone. The stock gained 16 percent to 740 yen today, rising by its daily limit of 100 yen.

Elpida Memory Inc. rebounded 8.8 percent to 359 yen in Tokyo after it kept its membership on the Asia’s benchmark index. The stock, which has lost almost two-thirds of its market value this year, plunged yesterday on speculation the index’s operator would announce the chipmaker’s removal today.

AviChina Industry & Technology Co., a Chinese developer of vehicles and civilian aircraft, jumped 11 percent to HK$3.87 in Hong Kong trading after billionaire Li Ka-shing bought 4.6 million shares of the company on Nov. 11.

European stocks ended the day unchanged, after swinging between gains and losses, as Mario Monti became Italy’s new prime minister amid concern the sovereign-debt crisis is hurting the global economy. The European Central Bank was said to buy Italian and Spanish bonds and the Bank of England warned that failure to tackle the debt crisis could affect economic growth.

National benchmark indexes rose in 11 of the 18 western- European markets today. France’s CAC 40 Index added 0.5 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slid 0.2 percent and Germany’s DAX Index lost 0.3 percent.

Infineon Technologies AG, Europe’s second-largest semiconductor maker, fell after saying sales will decline in 2012. The company expects sales in fiscal 2012 to decline by a “mid-single digit percentage” compared with 2011 as customers hold off on making orders.

BMW and Daimler, the world’s biggest makers of luxury cars, lost 3.2 percent to 55.71 euros and 0.9 percent to 32.23 euros, respectively. Carmakers posted the worst performance among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600 today, losing 1.4 percent.

Vivendi advanced 5.6 percent to 16.34 euros. The owner of the world’s largest video-game and music companies reported third-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates, helped by its Activision Blizzard and GVT divisions.

Michael Page International Plc, the recruiter that operates across 32 countries, climbed 5.8 percent to 385.4 pence. Randstad Holding NV, a provider of temporary employees, rose 4.3 percent to 23.05 euros. Adecco SA, the world’s biggest supplier of temporary workers, jumped 3.2 percent to 38.59 Swiss francs. HSBC raised its recommendation on all three stocks to “overweight” from “neutral.”

Home Retail Group Plc, which owns the Argos catalog stores, sank 7.5 percent to 72.7 pence as Deloitte LLP predicted that this Christmas may be the first in the U.K. with no growth in retail sales since 2008. December retail revenue in the country will be no better than last year’s 36.2 billion pounds ($57 billion), Deloitte said.

U.S. stocks tumbled, erasing yesterday’s gains, as Fitch Ratings said further contagion from Europe’s debt crisis will pose a risk to American banks and amid concern higher oil prices will hamper economic growth.

Stocks fell after the Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said Britain faces a ‘‘markedly weaker’’ outlook for the economy amid danger from Europe’s crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the nation is prepared to cede some national sovereignty to the European Union to achieve closer economic and political ties. Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti was sworn in.

Losses were limited after industrial production in the U.S. rose 0.7 percent in October, more than the 0.4 percent median forecast. Confidence among U.S. homebuilders unexpectedly rose in November to the highest level since May 2010. The cost of living in the U.S. unexpectedly fell for the first time in four months, a sign inflationary pressures may be starting to recede.

Oil climbed above $100 a barrel in New York to a five-month high as Enbridge Inc. said it will reverse the direction of the Seaway pipeline, adding an outlet for crude from the central U.S. and Canada.

Financial shares led Standard & Poor’s 500 Index losses as Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley dropped at least 4.1 percent.

Dell slumped 3.2 percent to $15.13. The company missed third-quarter revenue estimates after walking away from $2 billion in potential PC sales to focus on more profitable technology. It gave up billions in “low-value” PC opportunities because it wanted to preserve margins, Vice Chairman Jeff Clarke told analysts yesterday.

Abercrombie & Fitch tumbled 14 percent, the biggest decline in the S&P 500, to $48.10. The company’s cost of goods sold rose 34 percent to $429.3 million in the three months ended Oct. 29. Abercrombie, along with other apparel retailers, is contending with higher prices for materials such as cotton and oil and higher labor costs in Asia.

Rambus plummeted a record 61 percent to $7.11. It lost a $3.95 billion jury trial over its allegations that Micron and Hynix conspired to prevent its memory chips from becoming an industry standard. Micron surged 23 percent, the most in the S&P 500, to $6.74.

Marathon Petroleum Corp., HollyFrontier Corp. and other U.S. refiners declined on an announcement that the Seaway pipeline will be reversed, which may boost the costs of crude and narrow profits from making fuel. Marathon slumped 12 percent to $32.64. HollyFrontier lost 10 percent to $24.82.

Tyco International Ltd. rallied 2.6 percent to $46.99 after quarterly earnings rose more than analysts estimated and the company said its planned separation into three businesses is progressing on schedule.

Autodesk Inc. rose 4.5 percent to $35.58. The maker of design software reported third-quarter profit of 44 cents a share, exceeding the 41-cent average analyst estimate.

17.11.2011 07:41

Tech on USD/JPY

Market Focus

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  • New Zealand CPI, 3Q: 0.2% q/q (forecast 0%), 0.2% y/y (forecast 0.1%)
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