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Asian stocks rose for a sixth day, with Asia’s benchmark index headed for its longest winning streak since Oct. 13, as Italy took steps to trim its debt before European Union leaders meet this week to tackle the region’s crisis.
Stocks gained after Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti yesterday announced 30 billion euros ($40 billion) of austerity and growth measures. Monti will present the package, which includes a tax on luxury goods, resurrects a property levy on first homes, and forces many workers to delay retirement, to both houses of parliament today. German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets French President Nicolas Sarkozy today to advance a plan for stricter enforcement of the region’s deficit rules that will be presented to European leaders at a summit in Brussels on Dec. 9.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.6 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.8 percent. South Korea’s Kospi Index advanced 0.4 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.7 percent.
Banking shares gave the biggest boost to the MSCI Asia Pacific index amid optimism Europe’s debt crisis won’t damage the global financial system. Six central banks led by the Federal Reserve on Nov. 30 introduced measures to lower dollar borrowing costs for European lenders.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group advanced 2.1 percent to 345 yen, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., Japan’s second- biggest bank by market value, gained 2.2 percent to 2,212 yen. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia’s biggest lender by market value, rose 0.8 percent to A$49.96.
Exporters to the U.S. advanced. Li & Fung added 3.3 percent to HK$16.94 in Hong Kong. Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker by market value, gained 2.7 percent to 2,663 yen in Tokyo.
Gains in Asian stocks were limited as Chinese stocks fell after a purchasing managers’ index for November dropped to 49.7 from 57.7 the previous month, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said on its website. The Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks the biggest Chinese stock exchange, slid 1.2 percent.
Anhui Conch Cement Co., China’s largest maker of the building material, dropped 2.1 percent to HK$25.75 in Hong Kong. China Railway Group Ltd., which is helping build the mainland’s train rail system, dropped 3.4 percent to HK$2.55.
Australian mining companies rose after the nation ended a ban on uranium exports to India to open a new market for suppliers and strengthen diplomatic ties between the countries.
Energy Resources, controlled by Rio Tinto Group, rose 9.8 percent to A$1.57 at the close of trading in Sydney. Exploration company Deep Yellow surged 10 percent. BHP Billiton Ltd. rose 1.7 percent to A$37.26 and Rio Tinto gained 1 percent to A$67.
European stocks rose, with the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index extending its biggest weekly rally since November 2008, as Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti introduced a proposal to cut his nation’s debt.
Monti presented a plan to reduce the European Union’s second-biggest debt to the Chamber of Deputies in Rome today. The budget package came at the start of a critical week for Europe’s efforts to prevent Italy and Spain from succumbing to the crisis and causing a breakup of the single currency. France and Germany want a new EU treaty to set out the rules for euro-area governments, President Nicolas Sarkozy said after meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Merkel and Sarkozy are developing a plan for stricter enforcement of the region’s deficit rules that they will present to EU leaders at a summit on Dec. 9.
National benchmark indexes climbed in every western- European market. France’s CAC 40 Index advanced 1.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose 0.3 percent. Germany’s DAX Index increased 0.4 percent.
A gauge of European banks advanced 2.5 percent. UniCredit, Italy’s biggest lender, jumped 5.4 percent to 83.6 euro cents. Intesa Sanpaolo added 3.9 percent to 1.35 euros and BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank, rose 4.9 percent to 33.16 euros.
SAP slipped 2.5 percent to 43.61 euros. The German software maker agreed to buy San Mateo, California-based SuccessFactors on Dec. 3 to better meet demand for new technologies such as cloud computing, real-time analytics and mobile applications.
Commerzbank AG declined 4.1 percent to 1.44 euros as Germany’s second-largest bank offered to repurchase as much as 600 million euros of hybrid equity instruments.
U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher a second day, on speculation European leaders may act to contain the debt crisis after S&P put 15 euro nations on review for possible downgrade.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said S&P’s warning will help force European leaders to ratchet up efforts to resolve the crisis. Six nations may lose their AAA ratings depending on the result of a summit of European Union leaders this week, S&P said yesterday. S&P today said the European Financial Stability Facility may lose its top credit rating if any of its guarantors have their own debt grade cut.
Financial stocks in the S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent as a group. JPMorgan declined 1.1 percent to $33.15. Citigroup lost 1.6 percent to $29.34.
Darden fell 11 percent to $42.28. Full-year earnings per share growth from continuing operations will be 4 percent to 7 percent, down from a previous forecast of 12 percent to 15 percent, the Orlando, Florida-based company said today in a statement. Total sales growth will be 6 percent to 7 percent, reduced from a prior forecast of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent.
A measure of transportation shares had the biggest decline in the S&P 500 among 24 industries, falling 1 percent. Union Pacific Corp. lost 2.3 percent to $102.20. CSX Corp. declined 1.6 percent to $21.68.
3M rallied 1.6 percent to $82.24. Sales may be $30.2 billion to $31.5 billion, according to a presentation on the company’s website, in line with the $30.6 billion average estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The maker of Scotch-Brite sponges and Nexcare thermometers expects earnings per share of $6.25 to $6.50 next year, also tracking estimates.
GE added 2.3 percent to $16.71. Sanford C. Bernstein raised its recommendation for the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company to “outperform” from “market perform,” citing rising dividends and energy orders starting in 2012.
MetroPCS Communications Inc. added 7.1 percent to $8.94 for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. The pay-as-you-go U.S. wireless carrier was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” at William Blair & Co., which said the stock’s price doesn’t reflect the company’s “ healthy balance sheet.”
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