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16.04.2012 07:05

Stocks: Weekly review

Asian stocks rose for a second day after a North Korean rocket launch failed minutes after liftoff and China’s bank lending surged. Shares pared gains after the Chinese economy grew less than estimated.

Nikkei 225 9,637.99 +113.20 +1.19%

Hang Seng 20,701.04 +373.72 +1.84%

S&P/ASX 200 4,323.31 +42.67 +1.00%

Shanghai Composite 2,359.16 +8.30 +0.35%

Fanuc Corp., a Japanese supplier of automation equipment to mainland factories, trimmed gains after China said its economy grew at the slowest pace since 2009.

Li & Fung Ltd., a supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc., rose 1.9 percent in Hong Kong after Federal Reserve policy makers signaled U.S. interest rates will stay low.

Victek  Co. led declines among South Korean defense contractors after a North Korean rocket launched in defiance of international pressure broke up and fell into the sea.


European stocks fell, for the longest streak of weekly losses since August, as concern resurfaced about the euro-area’s debt crisis and China’s economic growth slowed last quarter more than forecast.

The cost of insuring against a Spanish default jumped to a record as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy struggles to prevent the nation from becoming the fourth euro-region member to need a bailout.

Growth in China’s economy, the world’s second biggest, slowed more than forecast last quarter to the least in almost three years. Gross domestic product rose 8.1 percent from a year earlier following an 8.9 percent increase in the fourth quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing said today.

National benchmark indexes fell in every western-European market. France’s CAC 40 slid 2.5 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 decreased 1 percent and Germany’s DAX slipped 2.4 percent. Spain’s IBEX 35 dropped 3.6 percent to its lowest level since March 2009, while Italy’s FTSE MIB sank 3.4 percent. Greece was closed for a holiday.

Italian banks led a gauge of European lenders lower, with UniCredit, the nation’s biggest bank, dropping 6 percent to 3.03 euros, and Popolare di Milano retreating 8.2 percent to 34.6 euro cents. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA sank 4.8 percent to 1.16 euros. BNP Paribas SA slid 5.2 percent to 30.40 euros, while Banco Santander declined 3.2 percent to 4.86 euros.

Cap Gemini, France’s biggest computer-services company, slipped 5.1 percent to 29.92 euros after peer Infosys Ltd. plunged the most in almost three years in Mumbai trading after forecasting sales lower than analysts had estimated.

STMicroelectronics NV, Europe’s largest semiconductor maker, dropped 5.1 percent to 5.21 euros.

Sage Group Plc, the U.K.’s largest software maker, slipped 2.6 percent to 287.7 pence. Milan Radia, an analyst at Jefferies Group Inc., cut the stock to hold from buy.

L’Oreal climbed 1.2 percent to 92.14 euros after it reported first-quarter sales that exceeded analysts’ estimates and said trends are favorable for all its brands.

Stallergenes SA, the French pharmaceutical company that makes allergy treatments, increased 3.3 percent to 42.66 euros as first-quarter sales rose to 75.7 million euros from 70.9 million euros a year earlier.


U.S. stocks fell, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its biggest weekly decline in 2012, as consumer confidence dropped, China’s growth slowed and the cost of insuring against a Spanish default rose to a record.

Stocks fell as confidence among U.S. consumers cooled in April from a one-year high. China’s growth slowed to the least in almost three years. Credit-default swaps on Spain surged as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy struggles to prevent the nation from becoming the fourth euro-region member to need a bailout.

Dow   12,849.59     -136.99        -1.05%, Nasdaq       3,011.33       -44.22 -1.45%, S&P 500    1,370.26       -17.31 -1.25%

Concern about the global financial system drove banks lower even after JPMorgan and Wells Fargo & Co. reported earnings that beat estimates. Bank of America (ВАС) sank 5.3 percent, the most in the Dow, to $8.68. JPMorgan (JPM) lost 3.6 percent to $43.21. Wells Fargo dropped 3.5 percent to $32.84.

Google tumbled 4.1 percent to $624.60 even as earnings beat estimates. The bid to preserve control for founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin raised concern among corporate-governance watchdogs. Google unveiled a plan that lets the company issue new shares without diluting the founders’ voting power.

Dow Chemical Co. advanced 1.6 percent to $33.20. The largest U.S. chemicals producer increased its quarterly dividend to 32 cents a share from 25 cents.

Johnson Controls Inc. added 2.3 percent to $32.57. The largest U.S. auto supplier was boosted to buy from hold at Deutsche Bank AG.

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