Stocks: Thursday’s review
Asian stocks rose for the first time in five days as better-than-expected U.S. economic data and optimism European leaders will contain the region’s debt crisis boosted the earnings outlook for exporters.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average gained 1.7 percent. South Korea’s Kospi Index added 2.6 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 5.7 percent, its biggest gain in more than two years. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 3.7 percent, the biggest increase since December 2008.
Nikkei 225 8,522 +139.04 +1.66%, Hang Seng 17,172 +922.01 +5.67%, S&P/ASX 200 4,070 +143.40 +3.65%, Shanghai Composite 2,359 -6.12 -0.26%
Sony Corp., Japan’s No. 1 exporter of consumer electronics, advanced 4.7 percent in Tokyo. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Asia’s largest international carrier, jumped 6.9 percent in Hong Kong. James Hardie Industries SE, a building-materials supplier that gets almost 70 percent of its sales from the U.S., climbed 8.2 percent in Sydney. BHP Billiton Ltd., the No. 1 global mining company, gained 3.3 percent as commodity prices advanced.
European stocks rose for a second day amid speculation policy makers will reach agreement to contain the sovereign-debt crisis and as the Bank of England expanded its bond-purchase program.
National benchmark indexes rose in every western-European markets except Denmark. France’s CAC 40 Index advanced 3.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose 3.7 percent. Germany’s DAX Index added 3.2 percent.
FTSE 100 5,291 +189.09 +3.71%, CAC 40 3,075 +101.47 +3.41%, DAX 5,645 +172.22 +3.15%
BNP Paribas SA, Credit Agricole SA and Natixis surged after Le Figaro said the French government is working on a contingency plan to take stakes in the country’s lenders. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, rallied 5.9 percent as metal prices increased. SABMiller Plc surged 7 percent after a report the brewer is in talks to be bought by Anheuser-Busch InBev NV. UBS AG gained 4.5 percent to 10.97 Swiss francs after Switzerland’s biggest bank said Francois Gouws and Yassine Bouhara resigned as co-heads of global equities following last month’s $2.3 billion loss from unauthorized trading.
U.S. stocks rose, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index the biggest three-day gain since August, as the Europe took steps to control the region’s debt crisis.
Dow 11,121.82 +181.87 +1.66%, Nasdaq 2,507 +46.31 +1.88%, S&P 500 1,164.78 +20.75 +1.81%
Financial shares rose the most among 10 groups in the S&P 500. Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. added at least 5 percent. Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, climbed 5.4 percent as commodities jumped. Target Corp. rose 4.3 percent as sales beat estimates. Yahoo! Inc. tumbled 1.7 percent as people familiar with the matter said Microsoft Corp. isn’t close to making an offer for the company.