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Asian stocks fell, with the benchmark index headed for its biggest weekly loss this year, as a surprise drop in profit at China’s third-largest bank compounded concern the global economy is slowing as manufacturing shrinks from Europe to Asia.
Nikkei 225 10,011.47 -115.61 -1.14%
Hang Seng 20,668.8 -232.76 -1.11%
S&P/ASX 200 4,270.39 -3.29 -0.08%
Shanghai Composite 2,349.54 -26.23 -1.10%
Agricultural Bank of China Ltd., slid 4.3 percent after posting lower-than-expected earnings and HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest lender by market value, slid 1.6 percent in Hong Kong.
Honda Motor Co., which gets about 80 percent of its revenue overseas, fell 2.9 percent in Tokyo after the yen strengthened.
BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, lost 1.2 percent in Sydney after metal and oil prices fell yesterday.
European stocks closed little changed, after the biggest weekly selloff this year, as a rebound in automakers and mining companies offset an unexpected drop in U.S. housing data.
A U.S. Commerce Department report today showed purchases of new houses unexpectedly fell in February for a second month. Sales dropped 1.6 percent to a 313,000 annual pace, the slowest since October, compared to 318,000 in January.
National benchmark indexes rose in 13 of 18 western- European markets. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX both rose 0.2 percent.
Renault rallied 2.5 percent to 40.30 euros today, leading a gauge of companies in the auto industry 1.4 percent higher. PSA Peugeot Citroen SA increased 2.3 percent to 12.89 euros and Volkswagen SA increased 1.7 percent to 132.35 euros.
Mining companies also advanced as copper rebounded in London. Antofagasta rallied 2.7 percent to 1,172 pence, the first increase in four days. Kazakhmys Plc advanced 2.5 percent to 935.5 pence and Rio Tinto Group gained 1.5 percent to 3,382.5 pence.
Elsewhere, CGGVeritas, the world’s largest seismic surveyor of oil fields, climbed 4.7 percent to 22.70 euros after JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its recommendation for the shares to neutral from underweight.
U.S. stocks rose, trimming the biggest weekly drop of the year for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as gains in commodity and energy companies amid rising oil prices offset an unexpected decline in new-home purchases.
U.S. stocks retreated yesterday as manufacturing contracted in China and Europe and FedEx Corp. tumbled amid a disappointing forecast. The S&P 500 is still up 2.3 percent for March, heading for its longest monthly rally since September 2009 as economic data topped forecasts and the European Central Bank disbursed more than 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) to lenders.
Dow 13,080.73 +34.59 +0.27%, Nasdaq 3,067.92 +4.60 +0.15%, S&P 500 1,397.11 +4.33 +0.31%Alcoa (АА) jumped 1 percent to $10.11, while Caterpillar (САТ) added 1.3 percent to $107.83. Chevron (CVX) climbed 1 percent to $106.36. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. jumped 3.2 percent to $32.52, while Consol Energy Inc. jumped 2.5 percent to $33.76.
KB Home, the Los Angeles-based homebuilder that targets first-time buyers, sank 8.5 percent to $10.29. Revenue in the first quarter was $254.6 million, falling short of the average analyst estimate of $328.6 million.
Micron Technology Inc. fell 3.6 percent to $8.40 for the biggest drop in the S&P 500 after reporting a third consecutive quarterly loss as sluggish demand for personal computers dragged down chip prices.
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