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Tokyo stocks surged to their best performance in two months as investors warmed to an improving earnings outlook for exporters on a weaker yen and optimism over US demand.
The Nikkei 225 Average climbed 1.5% to 8,772.36, a one-week closing high, as Asian markets benefited from an upturn in global sentiment following the better than expected US durable goods orders data.
Region-wide, the FTSE Asia Pacific index advanced 0.6% to 232.14.
Toyota , the carmaker that gets more than a quarter of its sales in North America, rose 1.7% after demand for cars was a strong component of the upbeat US data.
Nissan , which has lost 18% this month, rebounded 7%.
Sony , Panasonic and other Japanese technology companies gained as shares of Apple dropped in New York following Steve Jobs’s resignation as the US company’s chief executive.
Sony gained 2.1% while Panasonic, which dropped to its lowest level since 1980 on Wednesday, climbed 3.8%.
Among the big industrials, Fuji Heavy Industries jumped 7.3% although it remains down 25% for the month.
European stocks rose for the first week in five as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke indicated the economy isn’t deteriorating enough to warrant any immediate stimulus.
Logitech International SA, the world’s biggest maker of computer mice, led a rally in Swiss shares as the weakening franc boosted the value of exports. Logitech rallied 22%, the most since 2002.
Ageas jumped 15% in Brussels, the largest increase since May 2010, after announcing plans to buy back as much as 250 million euros ($360 million) of stock.
National Bank of Greece SA (ETE) dragged the benchmark ASE Index to a 15-year low as the country’s government bonds tumbled.
The Stoxx 600 Europe Index advanced 1.1% to 225.52 last week. The measure has still fallen 23% from this year’s peak on Feb. 17.
The Stoxx 600 climbed to a one-week high on Aug. 24 after a Commerce Department report showed that U.S. orders for durable goods rose more than forecast in July.
Cie. Financiere Richemont SA advanced 9%, the biggest gain in 15 months, and drugmaker Roche Holding AG climbed 6.6%, the most in two years.
Financial-services companies rose 2.9%, led by IG Group Holdings Plc. (IGG). IG Group climbed 10%.
Man Group Plc (EMG) also surged 10% as HSBC Holdings Plc raised its recommendation on the hedge-fund manager to “overweight” from “underweight’.
Meanwhile, Greek banks tumbled as the nation’s bonds slumped, pushing the 10-year yield up to a euro-era record.
National Bank of Greece slid 25%, the biggest drop since 2008. Alpha Bank SA slid 26% and EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA lost 22%.
Wall Street ended the week more than 4% up, its first weekly rise since mid-July.
Stocks had edged up in anticipation of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s Jackson Hole speech. Bulls expected him to signal a new round of quantitative easing, or at least detail other policy options at his disposal. In the end Mr Bernanke promised only to act “as appropriate”.
The S&P 500 rallied strongly to close 4.5% up for the week at 1,176.79.
Financials were the big gainers last week, with bank stocks in the S&P 500 index up 5.1%. But despite, Warren Buffett’s $5bn investment in Bank of America, Citigroup led the pack, up 11.2%. BofA was up 10.5%.
Tiffany & Co was up 20.0% for the week after a strong quarterly earnings report. Strong demand from the Asia-Pacific region drove quarterly earnings of 86 cents a share, well above expectations of about 71 cents a share. The world’s second-largest luxury jewellery retailer raised its earnings per share forecast for the year ending January 2012 to $3.75 from $3.55.
Homebuilder PulteGroup also rose 13.3% for the week after better-than-expected house price data.
Semiconductor manufacturers endured a mixed week. Shares in Micron Technology slumped more than 6% on Wednesday after the company warned of lower revenue, because of weak demand from computer companies. But Micron shares closed the week up 8.9%.
Applied Materials up only 1.8%.
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