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Asia’s benchmark stock index maintained gains for a sixth day after a stalemate emerged between European policy makers and Greek bondholders.
Nintendo Co. (7974), a Japanese maker of video-game players that gets 34 percent of its sales in Europe, rose 1.5 percent.
Mirabela Nickel Ltd. (MBN), an Australian nickel producer, slumped 13 percent after analysts cut their recommendations on the stock.
Elpida Memory Inc. (6665) advanced 4.6 percent after a newspaper reported the chipmaker is in merger talks with Micron Technology Inc. and Nanya Technology Corp. (2408)
European stocks declined from a five-month high as the region’s finance ministers failed to agree on a debt-swap deal for Greece and called for a greater contribution from bondholders.
The region’s finance ministers, meeting in Brussels yesterday, balked at putting up more public money for Greece, calling on bondholders to provide greater debt relief in order to point the way out of the two-year-old debt crisis.
National benchmark indexes fell in 14 of the 18 western European markets. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.5 percent, as did the U.K.’s FTSE 100. Germany’s DAX retreated 0.3 percent.
A gauge of banking shares fell 1 percent. Societe Generale retreated 5.4 percent to 21.57 euros. Credit Agricole lost 4.1 percent to 5 euros. Societe Generale, France’s second-largest lender, and Credit Agricole had their ratings downgraded to A from A+, with a stable outlook, S&P said yesterday.
Petroplus sank 84 percent to 24 centimes, its biggest decline and the lowest price since it issued shares to the public in November 2006. The company said it plans to file for insolvency in Switzerland and other jurisdictions. The Swiss refiner that has been trying to avoid bankruptcy had about $1 billion in credit lines suspended last month, preventing it from supplying its plants with crude.
Siemens declined 1.3 percent to 77.39 euros. The company said achieving its full-year goals has become harder to reach after profitability at its four divisions slipped as the debt crisis weighs on the economy.
U.S. stocks retreated, ending a five-day advance in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, amid a stalemate between European finance ministers and Greek bondholders over how to resolve the nation’s debt crisis.
Global stocks slumped as European finance ministers pushed bondholders to provide greater debt relief for Greece, spurring concern the nation may fail to make a March 20 bond payment. The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for the global economy. President Barack Obama tonight will lay out what he calls a “blueprint” for revitalizing the economy in his third State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. The Federal Reserve began a two-day policy meeting.
Travelers Cos., the only insurer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, sank 3.8 percent as earnings fell.
McDonald’s Corp. slid 2.2 percent as the restaurant chain said foreign-currency fluctuations will cut 2012 profit.
Verizon Communications Inc. lost 1.6 percent after the phone company reported a loss.
EMC Corp. advanced 7.3 percent to $25.14 after reporting a 32 percent increase in fourth-quarter earnings as data growth spurs demand for its products and software from majority-owned
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