Stocks: Wednesday's review
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell to its lowest level in more than two weeks as violence escalated in Libya and crude oil prices rose, sparking concern the global economic recovery may slow.
Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker, fell 1.7 percent.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s largest publicly traded bank, declined 1.1 percent. Nippon Yusen K.K., Japan’s No. 1 shipping line, slid 2.7 percent.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., operator of the world’s largest merchant fleet, slid 1.8 percent to 543 yen.
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., Japan’s third-largest shipping line, decreased 3.3 percent to 356 yen.
Inpex Corp., the nation’s largest oil and gas explorer, sank 4.1 percent on concern unrest in the Middle East will cut crude supply.
Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., the nation’s second-largest oil explorer, slumped 2.6 percent to 3,910 yen.
U.K. stocks dropped for a fourth day, the longest losing streak for the benchmark FTSE 100 Index since August, as oil surged to a 28-month high after Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi vowed to fight a growing rebellion.
Mining companies BHP Billiton Ltd. and Antofagasta Plc led declines in the FTSE 100.
Logica Plc dropped 5.4 percent as full-year profit at the Anglo-Dutch computer services provider missed analyst estimates.
Bank of England policy maker Spencer Dale joined Andrew Sentance and Martin Weale in voting for an interest-rate increase this month as a split widened on the dangers of inflation at double their target, according to minutes of the Feb. 10 decision published today.
Rexam Plc slid 5.8 percent to 348.4 pence even after the world’s biggest beverage-can maker reported full-year net income of 124 million pounds, compared with a net loss of 29 million pounds a year earlier. The stock had rallied 11 percent this year before today’s slump.
Cable & Wireless Communications Plc rallied 6.2 percent to 49.33 pence, the biggest gain since 2008, after agreeing to sell its operating business in Bermuda for $70 million and saying it will buy back up to $100 million of shares.
Stocks declined for a second straight session Wednesday as oil prices surged to briefly cross the $100 per barrel mark amid mounting turmoil in Libya.
Both indexes were also dragged lower by a 10% tumble in shares of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, Fortune 500). Late Tuesday, the computer company issued a disappointing outlook and quarterly sales
Oil prices continued to climb, jumping more than 4% to $100 a barrel for the first time since October 2008 amid talk of production disruptions. The North African country is the first oil exporting nation to be affected by the unrest sweeping across the Arab world.
Companies: Shares of CBOE Holdings (CBOE), the parent company of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, jumped almost 2% after Reuters reported that the company is "open to 'strategic transactions" such as a sale or merger with another exchange operator." CBOE declined comment.
Shares of home improvement chain Lowe's (LOW, Fortune 500) declined 1% after the company reported quarterly earnings that beat analysts' expectations.
Economy: A report from the National Association of Realtors showed that existing home sales rose 2.7% to an annual rate of 5.36 million units.