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Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index near an 18-month high, as Japanese shares rallied after the Group of 20 nations refrained from censuring the nation’s policies that have weakened the yen.
Nikkei 225 11,407.87 +234.04 +2.09%
Hang Seng 23,381.94 -62.62 -0.27%
S&P/ASX 200 5,063.42 +29.50 +0.59%
Shanghai Composite 2,421.56 -10.84 -0.45%
Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker, rose 1.3 percent as the yen fell, boosting the earnings prospects for Japanese exporters.
Li & Fung Ltd., a supplier of toys and clothes to Wal-Mart Stores Inc., lost 1.4 percent in Hong Kong as internal e-mails showed the U.S. retailer had the worst sales start to a month in seven years as payroll-tax increases hit shoppers.
BlueScope Steel Ltd. surged 15 percent after Australia’s largest steelmaker reported a smaller net loss.
European stocks retreated for a third day as companies including Carlsberg A/S missed earnings estimates and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said he sees risks to the euro area’s recovery.
Draghi said that while he expects economic weakness at the beginning of the year to be followed by a “very gradual” recovery later in 2013, risks remain to the economic outlook for the euro region. “They relate to the possibility of weaker than expected domestic demand and exports, slow implementation of structural reforms in the euro area, as well as geopolitical issues and imbalances in major industrialised countries,” he told lawmakers in the European Parliament in Brussels. “These factors have the potential to dampen the ongoing improvement in confidence and thereby delay the recovery.”
Global finance chiefs signaled Japan has scope to keep stimulating its economy as long as policy makers cease publicly advocating a sliding yen. The message was delivered at weekend talks of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 in Moscow.
National benchmark index fell in 14 of the 18 western- European markets. France’s CAC 40 added 0.2 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent. Germany’s DAX gained 0.5 percent.
Carlsberg tumbled 5.8 percent to 567.50 kroner. Fourth- quarter earnings advanced to 2.15 billion kroner ($384 million) from 1.83 billion kroner in the same period a year earlier, Carlsberg said. That compares with the 2.28 billion-kroner median estimate of analysts. The Danish owner of Russia’s biggest brewer forecast annual earnings before interest, tax and some one-time items will be about 10 billion kroner. It reported profit on the same basis of 9.8 billion kroner for 2012.
Natixis jumped 22 percent to 3.48 euros after the investment-banking unit of France’s second-largest lender by branches said it will make a payment to shareholders after selling back stakes in its parent’s banking networks. Natixis plans to sell holdings valued at 12.1 billion euros to French regional lenders Banques Populaires and Caisses d’Epargne, which jointly form its parent, Groupe BPCE.
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