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Asian stocks fell, dragging the regional benchmark equities index down from an 18-month high, amid renewed concern about Europe’s debt crisis.
Nikkei 225 11,046.92 -213.43 -1.90%
Hang Seng 23,148.53 -536.48 -2.27%
S&P/ASX 200 4,882.72 -24.80 -0.51%
Shanghai Composite 2,433.13 +4.98 +0.20%
Konica Minolta Holdings Inc., a Japanese maker of imaging equipment that gets 28 percent of its sales in Europe, dropped 3.1 percent.
Macquarie Group Ltd. lost 4.1 percent amid concern full-year earnings may trail the Australian lender’s forecast.
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. fell 6.6 percent in Hong Kong after Asia’s biggest refiner said it plans to sell shares worth HK$24 billion ($3.1 billion) at a discount.
European stocks climbed the most in almost four weeks as companies from Munich Re to BP Plc beat earnings estimates and a measure of euro-area services output shrank less than forecast.
An index based on a survey of purchasing managers in the services industry of the 17 countries that use the euro rose to 48.6 in January from 47.8 in December, Markit Economics said in a report today. The London-based research company had initially estimated a reading of 48.3 for the measure. A reading below 50 means that activity contracted.
About 55 percent of the 151 western European companies that have reported earnings since Jan. 8 beat analysts’ projections for profit, according to data. Of the 177 that have posted sales, 54 percent exceeded forecasts.
National benchmark indexes rose in 15 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 0.6 percent and France’s CAC 40 jumped 1 percent. Germany’s DAX advanced 0.4 percent.
Munich Re rose 3.9 percent to 138.95 euros after saying it will increase its dividend for 2012 to 7 euros a share from 6.25 euros. The company also reported preliminary net income of 480 million euros, beating the 448.3 million-euro average estimate of 10 analysts. It made a profit of 627 million euros a year earlier.
BP Plc added 1.4 percent to 468.7 pence. Europe’s second- largest oil producer reported earnings adjusted for one-off items and changes in inventory of $4 billion, more than the $3.7 billion average estimate of 16 analysts.
KPN slumped 16 percent to 3.45 euros after the biggest phone company in the Netherlands posted a fourth-quarter net loss of 162 million euros. The average estimate of eight analysts had predicted a profit of 362 million euros. KPN spent 1.35 billion euros at an auction of wireless spectrum during the quarter.
U.S. stocks had trades in positive territory and were able to compensate for most of yesterday's losses.
News background was neutral today. Support indices were data on the index of business activity in the service sector in China and several European countries, which were better than expected, but at the same time does not meet the expectations of retail sales in the eurozone. Data on the index of business activity in the U.S. service went as expected (55.2), so a significant impact on the index, they did not have. Meanwhile, the index of business activity in the non-manufacturing sector ISM following last month fell from 60.8 to 56.4, although expected to be much less significant decline.
The markets bounced back after yesterday's decline. Sentiment in the market was dominated by positive quarterly reports of companies, as a whole, came out better than expected.
For futures on the S & P is an important area of support for 1490-1500. While futures remain above this area, the chances of continued upward trend remain high. If futures fall below will be reason to talk about the beginning of correction after the strong growth at the beginning of this year.
Among the components of the index DOW only stock United Technologies (UTX, -0.31%) and International Business Machines (IBM, -0.49%) suffered losses. More than 3% added shares Bank of America (BAC, +3.48%) and Unitedhealth Group, Inc. (UNH, +3.62%).
All sectors of the S & P finished trading in the green zone. Smaller than the other conglomerates sector rose (+0.1%).
Pay-TV provider Virgin Media has jumped by 17.9% on the news of the start of negotiations with the company Liberty Global on a possible takeover.
Developer of games for social networks Zynga left in plus 7% after analysts at Bank of America upgraded the stock from "Underperform" to "buy."
At the close:
S & P 500 1,511.29 +15.58 +1.04%
NASDAQ 3,171.58 +40.41 +1.29%Dow 13,979.3 +99.22 +0.71%
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