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Asian stocks rose, sending the benchmark index toward the highest close in almost eight weeks, after European leaders made a breakthrough in resolving the debt crisis and Chinese stocks surged on speculation the country may ease monetary policy. Asian stocks extended gains after the second summit in four days delivered a plan that the region’s leaders say points the way out of the sovereign-debt crisis, even if key details are lacking. Brokerages including Guotai Junan Securities Co., Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. and Barclays Plc. said China may cut banks’ reserve requirements before the end of this year.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 2.5 percent after trading resumed at 2 p.m. in Sydney. Traders in Australia were unable to react to the European news for four hours because the market was halted by a technical glitch five minutes after the open. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 2 percent.
Asian exporters and banks gained, with Esprit Holdings advanced 6.8 percent to HK$12.02. Sony Corp., Japan’s No. 1 exporter of consumer electronics, rose 5.4 percent to 1,650 yen. Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s third-largest carmaker by market value, gained 4.2 percent to 719 yen.
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., Japan’s second- biggest lender, rose 5.1 percent to 2,234 yen. HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest lender, gained 2.4 percent to HK$67.30. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia’s biggest lender by market value, rose 1.8 percent to A$49.99.
Chinese property shares traded in Hong Kong surged on speculation the mainland’s will ease monetary policies to boost the economy. China Overseas Land & Investment soared 12 percent to HK$14.70. China Resources Land Ltd., also a state-controlled developer, jumped 14 percent. The stock was raised to “buy” from “hold” at BNP Paribas SA.
China may cut banks’ reserve requirements before the end of this year to stoke lending to small companies and boost the economy, according to Guotai Junan, Mizuho and Barclays.
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. and China Construction Bank Corp. rose at least 4.6 percent.
U.S. durable goods excluding transportation equipment rose in September by the most in six months. Another report showed purchases of new houses increased more than forecast in September as discounted prices lured buyers in some parts of the country.
Machinery makers advanced. Komatsu added 4 percent to 1,916 yen, and Fanuc Corp., Japan’s No. 1 maker of controls used to run machine tools, added 4.6 percent to 13,080 yen.
Olympus Corp., an optical-equipment maker, surged 23 percent, the most since at least 1974, to 1,355 yen after company Chairman and President Tsuyoshi Kikukawa resigned yesterday amid a scandal related to $687 million in fees paid by the company during a $2 billion takeover of Gyrus Group Ltd. in 2008.
European stocks rallied to the highest in 12 weeks after the region’s leaders agreed to expand a bailout fund to halt the sovereign debt crisis. European leaders persuaded bondholders to take 50 percent losses on Greek debt and resolved to increase the size of the rescue fund, responding to global pressure to step up the fight against the financial crisis. The euro area’s stewards said the plan points the way out of the debt quagmire, even if key details are lacking. Last- ditch talks with bank representatives led to the debt-relief accord, in an effort to quarantine Greece and prevent speculation against Italy and France from ravaging the euro area and wreaking global economic havoc. Measures include recapitalization of European banks, a potentially bigger role for the International Monetary Fund, a commitment from Italy to do more to reduce its debt and a signal from leaders that the European Central Bank will maintain bond purchases in the secondary market.
The U.S. economy grew in the third quarter at the fastest pace in a year as gains in consumer spending and business investment helped support a recovery on the brink of faltering. Gross domestic product rose at a 2.5 percent annual rate, matching the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and up from a 1.3 percent gain in the prior quarter, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Household purchases, the biggest part of the economy, increased at a more-than-projected 2.4 percent pace.
National benchmark indexes gained in all of the 18 western European markets. Germany’s DAX jumped 5.4 percent, its biggest increase since April 2009. France’s CAC 40 climbed 6.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 2.9 percent.
BNP Paribas SA, France’s biggest bank, and Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s largest, surged at least 15 percent as policy makers decided to boost the firepower of the European rescue fund to 1 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion). Societe Generale SA, France’s second-largest lender, jumped 23 percent to 23 euros. The bank said it will meet mid-2012 capital requirements “through its own means.” Credit Agricole SA, France’s third-biggest bank, soared 22 percent to 5.94 euros, its largest advance since September 2008.
National Bank of Greece SA, the country’s biggest lender, surged 6.1 percent to 1.91 euros. Alpha Bank SA soared 3.9 percent to 1.08 euros. EFG Eurobank Ergasias increased 7 percent to 76 euro cents. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said the government may buy shares in some Greek banks as a result of the planned writedown of the country’s debt and the European accord to recapitalize lenders. Papandreou didn’t give any details on the banks that would be targeted in any nationalization program or the size of any potential shareholdings.
Michelin & Cie. jumped 5.1 percent to 54.94 euros. The world’s second-largest tiremaker said third-quarter revenue rose 11 percent to 5.14 billion euros, spurred by a rebound in demand from U.S. automakers and strong sales of its winter tires in Europe.
Daimler AG added 3.1 percent to 39.07 euros. The world’s third-largest maker of luxury vehicles advanced after predicting higher fourth-quarter profit on gains at its trucks and vans divisions.
Logitech International SA, the world’s largest maker of computer mice, rallied 16 percent to 8.94 Swiss francs, its biggest increase since October 2007. The company confirmed its full-year guidance after three profit warnings in the past seven months.
U.S. stocks rose, extending the biggest monthly rally since 1974 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as European leaders agreed to expand a bailout fund to $1.4 trillion and American economic growth accelerated. Global stocks rallied as European leaders cajoled bondholders into accepting 50 percent writedowns on Greek debt and boosted their rescue fund’s capacity to 1 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion) in a crisis-fighting package intended to shield the euro area. Measures include recapitalization of European banks, a potentially bigger role for the International Monetary Fund, a commitment from Italy to do more to reduce its debt and a signal from leaders that the European Central Bank will maintain bond purchases in the secondary market.
Stocks also rose after the U.S. economy grew in the third quarter at the fastest pace in a year as gains in consumer spending and business investment helped support a recovery on the brink of faltering. Separate data showed that fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment assistance last week, while those on benefit rolls dropped to a three-year low, signaling limited improvement in the labor market. The number of contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly fell in September as lower prices and borrowing costs failed to support demand, according to another report.
The Dow Jones Transportation Average, a proxy for the economy, jumped 4.5 percent. The index extended its October rally to 20 percent and is poised for its best monthly gain since 1939. Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) advanced at least 8.3 percent, following gains in European lenders. Alcoa Inc. (AA) and General Electric Co. (GE) climbed more than 6.2 percent to pace gains in companies most-dependent on economic growth.A gauge of financial stocks in the S&P 500 jumped 6.2 percent today as all 81 of its companies rose. It has rebounded 25 percent from a two-year low on Oct. 3, entering a bull market.
Akamai Technologies Inc. climbed 15 percent to $27.45. The company, whose server network lets businesses speed data delivery, forecast fourth-quarter sales that topped some analysts’ estimates.
Aflac Inc. jumped 8.7 percent to $46.77. The health insurer that gets more than 70 percent of its sales in Japan said third- quarter profit rose 7.8 percent as the yen strengthened against the dollar.
Avon Products Inc. tumbled 18 percent, the most in the S&P 500, to $18.81. The door-to-door cosmetics merchant said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the company’s contacts with financial analysts. The company also reported profit that missed analysts estimates.
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