Stocks: Tuesday's review
Japanese stocks rose for a third day, sending the Nikkei 225 Stock Average to its biggest gain in almost a month, as declining oil prices eased concern about energy costs and reports showed the economy is improving.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s largest bank by market value, climbed 3.3 percent. Shinsei Bank Ltd. surged 7.7 percent after the lender partly owned by J. Christopher Flowers had its rating increased at Credit Suisse Group AG. Dentsu Inc., Japan’s largest advertising company, leapt 4.9 percent after Facebook Inc. hired it as a sales and marketing representative.
Japan’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent in January while the number of people in work increased by 170,000, the statistics bureau said.
European stocks retreated as oil surged amid concern anti-government protests in the Middle East may spread, overshadowing signals from China to Germany that the global economy is strengthening.
United Business Media Ltd. sank the most in almost four years after saying margins narrowed at its news and data- services divisions. HSBC Holdings Plc fell for a second day as Deutsche Bank AG and UBS AG downgraded Europe’s largest bank. Cookson Group Plc soared 5.2 percent as the world’s biggest maker of ceramic linings for metal smelters returned to profit and paid its first dividend since 2008.
China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index for February was 52.2, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said today. That’s the 24th straight month the reading has remained above 50, signaling expansion in manufacturing
German joblessness plunged in February to the lowest since September 1992 as demand for machines and cars surged, the Federal Labor Agency said.U.S. stocks slid, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its first drop in three days, as concern that rising energy costs will hurt the economic recovery overshadowed the fastest manufacturing growth since 2004.
The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index increased to 61.4, the highest since May 2004, from 60.8 in January. Readings greater than 50 signal growth. Estimates of the economists ranged from 58.7 to 63.3, with the median at 61.
Alcoa Inc. and Titanium Metals Corp. fell at least 2.9 percent as crude rose above $99 a barrel amid escalating unrest in the Middle East and northern Africa. Fifth Third Bancorp dropped 5 percent after receiving a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission for information on commercial loans. Carnival Corp. slid 6.3 percent after the chief operating officer of the largest cruise-line operator sold 180,000 shares.
Stocks erased an earlier advance after crude oil extended gains amid concern unrest will spread from Libya to Iran. Oil climbed as much after 1.9 percent as authorities in Iran, the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, arrested opposition leaders to derail demonstrations scheduled for today.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, testifying to the Senate Banking Committee in Washington, said the surge in oil probably won’t cause a permanent increase in inflation and repeated that interest rates are likely to stay low. His comments suggest the Fed will stay on course to complete $600 billion of Treasury purchases through June in an effort to suppress borrowing costs and safeguard the economic recovery.