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09.02.2012 08:29

Stocks: Wednesday’s review

Asian stocks rose for a third day as Greece’s government edged closer to securing a bailout package and Toyota Motor Corp. raised its profit forecast. Chinese shares rallied ahead reports tomorrow that are expected to show inflation easing.

Nikkei 225 9,015.59 +98.07 +1.10%

Hang Seng 21,018.46 +319.27 +1.54%

S&P/ASX 200 4,290.71 +16.51 +0.39%

Shanghai Composite 2,347.53 +55.63 +2.43%

Toyota rallied 5 percent in Tokyo after Asia’s largest carmaker raised its earnings outlook by 11 percent as new models boosted sales. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and PetroChina Co. climbed in Hong Kong after China raised fuel prices for the first time in 10 months. Rio Tinto Group gained 1.1 percent in Sydney.

Larger rival, BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) slid 0.4 percent to A$37.75 in Sydney. The company reported a 5.5 percent drop in first-half profit to $9.9 billion as rising costs combined with lower output and prices halved base-metal earnings. That compares with an average analyst estimate of $10 billion.

Panasonic Corp. gained 3.3 percent to 657 yen, Fujitsu Ltd. (6702) increased 2.9 percent to 391 yen and Renesas Electronics Corp. surged 10 percent to 556 yen after the Nikkei reported all three companies are in talks to join their system chip operations. The newspaper did not cite anyone.

European stocks dropped for a third day. Greece’s Prime Minister Lucas Papademos met the leaders of the three political parties that support his government in Athens today. He held an unscheduled meeting late last night with the troika -- the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- to haggle over the terms needed to secure further aid.

National benchmark indexes climbed in 10 of the 18 western- European (SXXP) markets today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell 0.2 percent. France’s CAC 40 Index and Germany’s DAX Index decreased 0.1 percent.

BHP Billiton retreated 2.3 percent to 2,130 pence. The world’s biggest mining company reported a 5.5 percent drop in first-half profit, the first decline since 2009, as rising costs and lower output and prices cut its earnings from base metals by half.

Vestas plunged 14 percent to 57.50 kroner for the largest slump on the Stoxx 600. The world’s biggest wind-turbine maker reported an annual loss of 166 million euros ($220 million), according to its annual report.

Banco Espirito Santo SA surged 13 percent to 1.67 euros, while Banco Comercial Portugues SA rose 5.1 percent to 18.5 euro cents.

UniCredit SpA, Italy’s biggest lender, added 2.2 percent to 4.48 euros. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, the country’s second-largest bank, gained 3 percent to 1.60 euros.

U.S. stocks advanced, pushing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a seven-month high, as Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos began talks with political leaders on terms required for a bailout. Papademos began talks with political parties supporting his government as he works to secure a second aid package. Greece will pledge permanent spending cuts, including lower pensions and a 20 percent reduction in minimum wages, according to the draft of the financing deal.

Dow 12,883.95     +5.75   +0.04%, Nasdaq      2,915.86       +11.78 +0.41%, S&P 500   1,349.96       +2.91         +0.22%

Bank of America (ВАС) climbed 3.6 percent, the most in the Dow, to $8.13.

Ralph Lauren Corp. rallied 9.2 percent to $171.49. The retailer of its namesake brand clothing said revenue in the current fiscal year may gain more than it previously expected.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) lost 0.6 percent to $85.32.

Sprint Nextel Corp. slumped 1.6 percent to $2.41 after reporting widening losses for the first quarter it offered the Apple Inc. iPhone, signaling the best-selling device may not be helping Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse turn around the carrier’s business.

Western Union Co. tumbled 10 percent, the biggest decline in the S&P 500, to $17.73. The world’s largest money-transfer business forecast earnings in 2012 will be no more than $1.75 a share, less than the average analyst estimate of $1.81.

09.02.2012 08:00

Tech on USD/JPY

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