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Asian stocks rose on signs a global economic recovery may be strengthening after Bank of America Corp. swung to a profit and Intel Corp. forecast sales that beat analyst estimates, boosting the earnings outlook for Asia’s companies. France and Germany are engaged in “intensive talks” on bolstering the European Financial Stability Facility, said Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Spain’s credit rating was cut for the third time since June 2010 by Moody’s Investors Service as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis threatens to engulf the nation. Moody’s reduced Spain’s ranking to its fifth-highest investment grade, cutting it by two levels to A1 from Aa2, with the outlook remaining negative, the rating company said yesterday.
Banks increased after Bank of America climbed 10 percent in New York. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s largest lender, advanced 0.9 percent. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia’s biggest lender by market value, rose 1.2 percent to A$48.01.
Asian exporters rose with Canon Inc., the camera maker that gets 81 percent of its revenue abroad, increasing 1.9 percent to 3,475 yen. Korea’s Hankook Tire Co., which makes more than 60 percent of sales overseas, jumped 7.3 percent to 44,200 won in Seoul. James Hardie Industries SE, a building-materials supplier that gets 68 percent of sales from the U.S. rose 3.2 percent to A$5.76.
Energy producers rose after crude oil rose yesterday, the highest settlement price since Sept. 15. Oil was little changed today. Cnooc rose 1.1 percent to HK$13.18 in Hong Kong. Caltex Australia Ltd., a refiner and distributor of petroleum products, jumped 5.6 percent to A$13.53.
Suppliers of Apple Inc., fell after the maker of iPhones and iPads posted profit that missed analyst estimates. Largan Precision Co., which supplies camera lenses, lost 6.9 percent to NT$685 in Taipei. Catcher Technology Co., a casing maker of iPhones, fell 6.8 percent to NT$152. Foxconn Technology Co., which assembles Apple products, slipped 5.9 percent to NT$104.
European stocks advanced for the first time in three days amid conflicting reports that France and Germany have reached a deal on expanding the euro area’s rescue fund. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that the euro-area summit on Oct. 23 will mark an “important step,” though not the final one, in solving the debt crisis. The comments marked the second time in two days that she sought to lower expectations. The Guardian newspaper reported that Germany and France have agreed to boost the region’s rescue fund, known as the European Financial Stability Facility, to 2 trillion euros ($2.8 trillion) from 440 billion euros. In contrast, the Financial Times Deutschland said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told lawmakers in Berlin that the EFSF’s firepower may be increased to a maximum of 1 trillion euros.
National benchmark indexes climbed in 11 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index gained 0.7 percent, France’s CAC 40 Index increased 0.5 percent and Germany’s DAX Index advanced 0.6 percent.
A gauge of bank shares rebounded from a four-day decline as the cost of insuring against default on European corporate debt retreated. France’s Natixis rallied 2.8 percent to 2.25 euros, while Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest lender, rose 4.7 percent to 1.63 euros.
Software AG surged 12 percent to 30.45 euros, its biggest gain since 2009. Germany’s second-largest maker of business software confirmed its full-year sales target after third- quarter operating profit rose to 71 million euros.
BSkyB gained 5.1 percent to 710 pence after the U.K.’s biggest pay-TV broadcaster reported a 16 percent increase in first-quarter operating profit to 295 million pounds ($466 million) as the company sold more products to its existing subscribers. That beat the average analyst estimate of 286.5 million pounds.
Diageo Plc jumped 4 percent to 1,331 pence after the world’s largest distiller reported first-quarter sales that topped analyst forecasts, boosted by growth in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Аccor SA advanced 2.5 percent to 22.62 euros after Europe’s largest hotel company reported a 2.7 percent gain in third- quarter sales to 1.62 billion euros, matching estimates, as more guests stayed at its economy hotels.
Hochtief rallied 3.7 percent to 52.98 euros after Goldman Sachs raised its recommendation for the company to “conviction buy” from “neutral.”
Alcatel-Lucent SA sank 7.7 percent to 1.96 euros as Oddo Securities and Jefferies Group Inc. lowered their recommendations for the French phone-equipment maker to “neutral” and “underperform,” respectively.
Home Retail Group Plc sank 17 percent to 99.5 pence after the owner of U.K. Homebase outlets said first-half profit fell 70 percent as Britons spent less at its Argos catalog unit.
Intel Corp. (INTC) rose 3.6 percent to $24.24. The world’s biggest chipmaker forecast fourth-quarter sales that exceeded some analysts’ estimates, citing strong demand for laptop computers in emerging markets. Yahoo! Inc. gained 3 percent to $15.94 after demand for advertising helped third-quarter profit top analysts’ forecasts.
Travelers Cos. (TRV) rallied 5.7 percent, the most in the Dow, to $54.39, after the insurer reported an increase in third-quarter policy sales and said it was raising rates for clients.
Apple slumped 5.6 percent, the biggest decline since December 2008, after profit missed estimates for the first time in at least six years.
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and Wells Fargo & Co. dropped at least 2.6 percent, reversing earlier gains. Comerica Inc. slumped 11 percent and M&T Bank Corp. decreased 5.6 percent after reporting that net interest margins declined in the third quarter.
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