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Asian stocks fell from a 19-month high as Chinese shares extended their decline. Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. surged after Japan confirmed it has extracted frozen natural gas from under the seabed.
Nikkei 225 12,314.81 -34.24 -0.28%
Hang Seng 22,890.6 -200.22 -0.87%
S&P/ASX 200 5,117.87 -29.04 -0.56%
Shanghai Composite 2,286.6 -23.99 -1.04%
China Cosco Holdings Co., the nation’s biggest shipping company, dropped 5.3 percent after Citigroup Inc. said the sale of its logistics unit means the loss of a stable, growing business.
Whitehaven Coal Ltd., Australia’s second-biggest independent coal producer, sank 5.5 percent on government plans for stricter coal mining approvals.Japan Petroleum, the country’s second-largest oil and gas explorer, surged 5.7 percent after Japan confirmed gas output from methane hydrate, known as “burnable ice.”
European stocks were little changed, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index trading near its highest level in 4 1/2 years, as a report showed that U.K. manufacturing output unexpectedly contracted.
The Stoxx 600 added less than 0.1 percent to 295.37 at 4:30 p.m. in London after climbing as much as 0.3 percent and dropping as much as 0.2 percent.
National benchmark indexes advanced in 10 of the 18 western-European markets.
FTSE 100 6,510.62 +6.99 +0.11% CAC 40 3,839.97 +3.70 +0.10% DAX 7,966.12 -18.17 -0.23%
U.K. manufacturing output slipped 1.5 percent in January after increasing a revised 1.5 percent in December, according to a statement from the Office for National Statistics. Economists had predicted the measure would be unchanged. Total industrial production in the European Union’s third-largest economy declined 1.2 percent in January after gaining 1.1 percent in the previous month, separate figures showed. Economists had called for a 0.1 percent increase.
Antofagasta gained 2.9 percent to 1,127 pence after the copper producer controlled by Chile’s Luksic family proposed a dividend of 98.5 cents a share, compared with 44 cents a year earlier. The average analyst estimate had called for a dividend of 58 cents.
SBM Offshore NV surged 21 percent to 12.96 euros, its biggest rally since at least October 1989, after agreeing to pay $470 million to settle a dispute with Talisman Energy Inc. The world’s biggest supplier of floating oil rigs said it will take a provision of $270 million in addition to the $200 million that it set aside in December for its Yme platform in the North Sea.
St. James’s Place lost 3.1 percent to 520 pence. Lloyds sold 102 million shares in the company, leaving the bank with a 37 percent stake. Britain’s biggest mortgage lender said it will make a gain of 400 million pounds ($595 million) from the sale and the revaluation of its remaining holding.
Pirelli retreated 4.2 percent to 8.55 euros after Europe’s third-largest tiremaker forecast earnings before interest and taxes of 810 million euros ($1.1 billion) to 850 million euros in 2013. That compared with the average analyst estimate of 875 million euros.
Beginning of the session in the red, indexes retreated from session lows, but still finished trading below zero
Most U.S. stocks fell, snapping a seven-day rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index that drove the benchmark gauge to within nine points of its record high.
“After setting new all-time highs for several consecutive days, the market may be a little tired, and rightly so,” Ryan Larson, the Chicago-based head of U.S. equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc., said in an interview. His firm oversees $250 billion. “With little in the way of catalysts, it would not be surprising to see the streak end. That being said, as long as central bank accommodation remains, any pullback should be short-term in nature.”
More than $10 trillion has been restored to U.S. equity values during the four-year bull market as the S&P 500 more than doubled from the bottom in 2009, fueled by corporate earnings that topped estimates and monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve. The Dow recouped all its losses from the financial crisis in less than 65 months, more than a year faster than the recovery from the Internet bubble.
U.S. equity funds attracted $4.9 billion in the first week of March, the most in more than a month, according to data from EPFR Global.
The S&P 500 is valued at 15.3 times earnings, a 22-month high. That’s still 7.3 percent below an average of 16.6 over the last decade. The Dow is trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.1, the highest level in almost two years and 11 percent below its 10-year average of 15.8. About 85 percent of stocks in the S&P 500 yesterday closed above their average price from the past 50 days
Most components of DOW index closed in minus (17 of 30). Shares of Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK, +3.11%) advanced more than other components. Shares of Caterpillar Inc. (CAT, -1.71%) fell more than other components
Most sectors of the S&P closed in minus. Most fell showed financial sector (-0.7%). Most growts showed healthcare sector (+0.3%).At the close:
Dow +2.77 14,450.06 +0.02%
Nasdaq -10.55 3,242.32 -0.32%
S&P -3.75 1,552.47 -0.24%
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