Stocks: Weekly review
Asian stocks dropped for the first time in four days, with the regional benchmark index posting its biggest quarterly decline since December 2008, as U.S. economic reports failed to soothe investor concern that growth in the world’s largest economy is faltering.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) dropped 2.3 percent at the close, extending the quarter’s slump to 21 percent, the worst performance since September 2001. China’s Shanghai Composite Index slid 0.3 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average, South Korea’s Kospi Index and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 were little changed, while futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 1.3 percent.
Japanese stocks edged lower, ending a three-day winning streak on the Topix index, after mixed U.S. economic reports failed to assuage concern the world’s largest economy is slowing.
The Topix fell 10 percent this quarter, its worst performance since the three months through June 2010. Stocks have fallen amid concern sputtering U.S. growth and Europe’s debt crisis will stifle demand in two of Japan’s biggest markets.
Toyota fell 0.5 percent to 2,688 yen. Sony Corp., Japan’s No. 1 exporter of consumer electronics, declined 0.5 percent to 1,507 yen.
Japanese banks fell even after Germany’s lower house voted to expand a European bailout fund. Confidence that the 440 billion euro ($599 billion) facility will be in place by mid- October allows the region’s finance chiefs next week to discuss enacting a permanent rescue fund that provides more capital and tools for managing defaults.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (8306), Japan’s biggest lender, fell 0.3 percent to 354 yen. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial slipped 0.6 percent to 2,206 yen.
European stocks posted the largest weekly gain in 14 months, paring a quarterly loss, as German backing for an enhanced euro-area rescue fund eased concern that policy makers will be unable to contain the debt crisis and U.S. jobs and growth data beat forecasts.
National benchmark indexes rose in all of western Europe’s 18 markets. France’s CAC 40 added 6.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed 1.2 percent and Germany’s DAX jumped 5.9 percent.
At closing, the major national benchmark indexes in Europe have shown a reduction: FTSE 100 5,128 -68.36 -1.32%, CAC 40 2,982 -45.69 -1.51%, DAX 5,502 -137.56 -2.44%. Negative impact on the dynamics of the indices have published statistics, which recorded decline in retail sales in Germany, rising unemployment in Italy and the rise in consumer prices in the EU as a whole.
Allianz and Axa, Europe’s biggest insurers, rallied 20 percent and 19 percent, respectively, the biggest gains in more than two years. Societe Generale (GLE) SA, France’s second-largest bank, and KBC Groep NV, Belgium’s biggest lender by market value, climbed more than 20 percent. Lundin Petroleum AB soared 44 percent after increasing its estimate of recoverable resources for an oil prospect. Luxury goods makers fell after a survey showed on Sept. 29 that most global investors predict Chinese growth will slow to less than 5 percent by 2016. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC), the world’s biggest luxury goods company, slipped 5.5 percent. The company makes 25 percent of its revenue in Asia, according to Bloomberg data. Swatch Group AG (UHR), that watchmaker that makes 51 percent of its sales in Asia, slid 12 percent. A gauge of Chinese manufacturing shrank for a third month in September, the longest contraction since 2009, as measures of new orders and export demand declined. A reading of 49.9 for the purchasing managers’ index, released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics yesterday, was unchanged from August and compared with a preliminary figure of 49.4.
U.K. stocks declined, with the S & P500 Index posting its biggest quarterly drop since 2008, after reports on Chinese manufacturing and German retail sales added to evidence that the economy is faltering.
According to the results of today's trading: Dow 10,913.38 -240.60 -2.16%, Nasdaq 2,415.40 -65.36 -2.63%, S & P 500 1,131.42 -28.98 -2.50%.
All sectors of the S & P finished the week in the red zone, dropping more than 1.3%. Maximum drop showed the sector of industrial products and conglomerates (to 3.4%), and the financial sector (-3.5%).
Company, most tied to economic growth, showed the biggest declines among all sectors of the S & P500. Alcoa Inc. fell by 4.9%, while General Electric Co. (GE) lost 4%. Micron Technology Inc (MU) fell 14%, showing the largest decline in the S & P, after reports of sudden loss from weak demand for personal computers. Ingersoll-Rand Plc (IR) has lost 12% after lowering its projected profit.