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Asian stocks fell, extending the regional benchmark index’s biggest quarterly decline in almost three years, after U.S. consumer spending slowed as incomes unexpectedly dropped, souring the earnings outlook for exporters. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 2.7 percent to 110.10 as of 5:38 p.m. in Mumbai, ahead of a meeting of European finance ministers to weigh the threat of a Greek default. About seven stocks fell for each that rose in the gauge and all 10 industry groups declined. The gauge has dropped 20 percent this year amid concern the global economy is poised for another recession as Europe’s debt crisis worsens and U.S. economic growth slows.
Sony Corp. (6758) plunged as much as 6.2 percent in Tokyo, touching its lowest price in 24 years. Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), the world’s largest carmaker, fell 2 percent. James Hardie Industries SE (JHX), a building-materials supplier that gets almost 70 percent of its sales from the U.S., sank 3.5 percent in Sydney. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s No. 1 mining company, dropped 2.5 percent after oil and metal prices slid. HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s biggest lender, led banking stocks lower.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 1.8 percent after the Bank of Japan’s quarterly Tankan index showed that sentiment among Japan’s largest manufacturers remains worse than before the March earthquake. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slumped 2.8 percent as a gauge of Australian manufacturing fell for a third month in September.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged 4.4 percent, led by Ping An Insurance Group Co., China’s No. 2 insurance company by market value, amid signs China’s economic growth is slowing. Financial markets in China and South Korea are closed for holidays today.
National benchmark indexes retreated in all 18 western European markets, except for Ireland. Germany’s DAX slumped 2.3 percent, France’s CAC 40 declined 1.9 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 lost 1 percent.
FTSE 100 5,076 -52.98 -1.03%, CAC 40 2,927 -55.13 -1.85%, DAX 5,377 -125.32 -2.28%BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Rio Tinto Group, the world’s biggest mining companies, declined more than 1.5 percent as copper tumbled to a 14-month low in London. Commerzbank AG (CBK) and Societe Generale SA led losses in banking shares. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) sank to a one-year low.
According to the results of today's trading: Dow 10,653.64 -259.74 -2.38%, Nasdaq 2,335.83 -79.57 -3.29%, S&P 500 1,099.23 -32.19 -2.85%
The S&P 500 lost 2.9 percent to 1,099.23 at 4 p.m. New York time, its lowest close since Sept. 8, 2010. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 258.08 points, or 2.4 percent, to 10,655.30, also the lowest level in more than a year. Financial shares had the biggest drop in the S&P 500 as Bank of America fell 9.6 percent to the lowest level since March 2009. Citigroup Inc. (C) slumped 9.8 percent to $23.11. The bank may be penalized by regulators in Japan for the third time since 2004 after its Japanese retail banking unit possibly breached rules by failing to fully explain product risk to customers, two people familiar with the situation said. Alcoa Inc. (AA) fell 7 percent amid concern about slower demand for commodities. American Airlines parent AMR Corp. (AMR) slid 33 percent on concern the U.S. is nearing a return to recession and that the carrier may be forced to seek bankruptcy protection.
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