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Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index heading for its biggest jump in five months, after U.S. economic data bolstered confidence in the global recovery and as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated a new central bank governor.
Nikkei 225 11,559.36 +305.39 +2.71%
Hang Seng 23,020.27 +443.26 +1.96%
S&P/ASX 200 5,104.08 +67.49 +1.34%
Shanghai Composite 2,365.59 +52.37 +2.26%
Japan’s Nikkei 225 posted its longest monthly winning streak since 2006 amid speculation Abe’s nominee, Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda, will push for more monetary stimulus.
In Sydney, James Hardie Industries SE, a building-materials supplier that gets 67 percent of sales from the U.S., gained 3.2 percent.
New World Development Co., a Hong Kong builder controlled by billionaire Cheng Yu-tung, rose 3.6 percent after posting earnings that beat estimates.
European (SXXP) stocks climbed, with the benchmark index rising for a ninth straight month, as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled they would maintain monetary support.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 1 percent to 289.94 at the close of trading, extending its advance this month to 1 percent, for its longest monthly winning streak since 1997.
A Labor Department report showed that fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week. Initial jobless claims fell by 22,000 to 344,000 in the week ended Feb. 23, compared with the median forecast of economists that called for 361,000.
The U.S. economy managed to barely expand in the fourth quarter. Gross domestic product grew at a 0.1 percent annual rate, up from a previously estimated 0.1 percent drop, revised figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median forecast of economists called for a 0.5 percent gain.
National benchmark indexes rose in all of the 18 western- European markets except Portugal today.
FTSE 100 6,360.81 +34.93 +0.55% CAC 40 3,723 +31.51 +0.85% DAX 7,741.7 +65.87 +0.86%
Bayer increased 2.7 percent to 75.86 euros after saying sales will rise to about 41 billion euros ($53.9 billion) this year. Fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and special items increased 18 percent to 1.83 billion euros from 1.54 billion euros a year earlier, in line with analysts’ estimates.
Telefonica (TEF) added 20 cents to 10 euros after reporting fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as sales growth in Latin America helped to offset revenue declines in its domestic market. Operating income before depreciation and amortization fell 8.6 percent to 5.45 billion euros, compared with projections for 5.44 billion euros.
HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) gained 0.9 percent to 731.4 pence. Europe’s largest bank by market value may say pretax profit in 2012 rose 7.4 percent to $23.5 billion when it reports earnings on March 4.
Standard Chartered Plc (STAN) may say pretax profit last year climbed to $7.12 billion from $6.78 billion, according to the median estimate of analysts. The stock increased 1.2 percent to 1,796 pence.
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) rallied 7.9 percent to 239.2 pence, its highest price since July 26, 2011. Europe’s third-largest carrier had a full-year operating loss of 23 million euros, excluding one-time items, compared with a 485 million-euro profit a year earlier. Analysts had expected an 88 million-euro loss.
U.S. stocks advanced, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average closer to its record, as government reports showed the economy expanded at the end of 2012 and jobless claims declined more than estimated last week.
Gross domestic product grew at a 0.1 percent annual rate, up from a previously estimated 0.1 percent drop, revised figures from the Commerce Department showed. Economists predicted a 0.5 percent gain. Jobless claims fell to 344,000 in the week ended Feb. 23. The median forecast called for 360,000 applications. Business activity in the U.S. unexpectedly expanded in February at the fastest pace in almost a year.
The International Monetary Fund will lower its growth forecast for the U.S., where $85 billion in spending cuts are due to begin tomorrow, an IMF spokesman said.
Warren Buffett once said that shunning dividends in his early years running Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) allowed him to refocus the company on better businesses, much as a person would overcome “a misspent youth.” The 82-year-old billionaire is now focused on his legacy as he prepares the company he’s overseen for almost five decades for new management. Using his annual letter tomorrow to outline a dividend strategy could help explain to shareholders how the company’s next leaders should approach the challenge of allocating profits.
Most components of DOW index closed in plus (18 of 30). Shares of Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ, +2.15%) advanced more than other components. Shares of Unitedhealth Group, Inc. (UNH, -0.64%) fell more than other components
All sectors of the S&P closed in plus. Most growts showed sector of consumer goods (+0.5%) and conglomerates (+0.5%).
On result of yesterdays session:
Dow -21.12 14,054.25 -0.15%
Nasdaq -2.07 3,160.19 -0.07%
S&P -1.33 1,514.66 -0.09%
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