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10.02.2012 09:01

Stocks: Thursday’s review

Most Asian stocks climbed, erasing an earlier decline for the region’s benchmark index, amid speculation Greece will secure a second bailout when euro-area officials meet today. A government official today said Greece was confident euro area finance ministers will approve a second bailout for the country. The official, who declined to be named, said there would not be another meeting of political parties.

Nikkei 225 9,002.24 -13.35 -0.15%

Hang Seng 20,964.6 -53.86 -0.26%

S&P/ASX 200 4,282.87 -7.84 -0.18%

Shanghai Composite 2,349.59 +2.06 +0.09%

Lenovo climbed 4.3 percent to $HK6.52 after the company reported a 54 percent increase in third-quarter profit to $153 million as orders for office computers jumped and acquisitions in Germany and Japan boosted sales. That beat the $139.8 million average of nine analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue rose 44 percent.

Japanese paper makers gained the most among the Topix Index’s 33 industry groups after Nippon Paper Group Inc. yesterday posted growing profit. Nippon Paper jumped 5.5 percent to 1,766 yen, Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd. surged 11 percent to 84 yen and Hokuetsu Kishu Paper Co. climbed 4.1 percent to 539 yen.

BHP, the world’s largest mining company lost 1.6 percent to A$37.16 in Sydney as workers at BHP’s coking coal mines in Australia said they will strike for seven days from Feb. 15 after rejecting the company’s latest offer.

European stocks rose for the first time in four days as Greek political leaders reached a consensus on austerity measures and the European Central Bank held its benchmark interest rate at a record low.

Greece’s government has reached a deal on austerity measures required for a 130 billion-euro ($173 billion) financing package, according to a statement from the press office of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.

ECB policy makers meeting in Frankfurt left the benchmark interest rate at a record low of 1 percent, as predicted economists. President Mario Draghi said at a press conference that surveys confirm tentative signs of stabilization in the euro-area economy.

Bank of England officials decided to infuse another 50 billion pounds ($79 billion) into the U.K. economy to protect a nascent recovery. The Monetary Policy Committee raised the target for bond purchases to 325 billion pounds, more than a quarter of current outstanding gilts.

National benchmark indexes rose in 12 of the 18 western European markets. France’s CAC 40 added 0.4 percent. Germany’s DAX climbed 0.6 percent, and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent.

Daimler jumped 4.6 percent to 46.68 euros, its highest since Aug. 2. The company reported a 39 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit, boosted by demand for the revamped M- Class sport-utility vehicle.

Preference shares of Hugo Boss rose 0.7 percent to 77.30 euros. The German luxury clothier controlled by buyout firm Permira Advisers said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and one-time items increased to 97 million euros from 77 million euros in the year-earlier period.

Credit Suisse declined 3.5 percent to 24.35 Swiss francs. Switzerland’s second-biggest lender said it had a loss in the fourth quarter for the first time since 2008, hurt by “adverse markets” and costs to reorganize the investment bank.

U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher for a third day, as Greek political leaders struck a deal on a package of austerity measures needed to secure international rescue funds.

Equities rallied around the world after Greece’s government reached a deal on austerity measures required for a 130 billion- euro ($173 billion) financing package. Greece faces a 14.5 billion-euro bond payment on March 20 and is struggling to secure financing to avert a collapse of the economy that could spark a new round of contagion in the euro area.

Akamai jumped 11 percent, the biggest gain in the S&P 500, to $38.06. The company, whose customers include Apple Inc., is benefiting from rising demand for its services as companies seek ways to push data-heavy digital content, such as videos, around the world more quickly.

Visa rallied 3.8 percent to $112.42, a record. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph W. Saunders is positioning Visa for its next phase of growth after U.S. regulators capped so- called swipe fees, or interchange, that the company charges merchants for debit-card purchases. Visa, which derived about 56 percent of revenue from the U.S. in fiscal 2011, has said it intends to generate more than half from markets abroad by 2015.

United Technologies gained 2.5 percent to $83.78. It is studying the sale of a pump- and compressor-making division to raise cash for the planned purchase of aerospace supplier

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) slumped 2.1 percent, the most in the Dow, to $20. The biggest maker of networking equipment predicted a third-quarter revenue gain of 5 percent to 7 percent. That equates to about $11.4 billion to $11.6 billion, compared with an average estimate of $11.5 billion. Excluding some costs, earnings will be 45 cents to 47 cents a share. Analysts had projected 45 cents.

PepsiCo Inc. fell 3.7 percent to $64.27. The company plans to cut 8,700 jobs and boost marketing spending for its brands by as much as $600 million as Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi works to turn around the world’s largest snack-food maker.

Groupon Inc. sank 14 percent to $21.17. The largest daily- deal site reported a tax-related fourth-quarter loss that analysts hadn’t predicted. Groupon, based in Chicago, has expanded to 47 countries and set up a new international headquarters in Switzerland. That contributed to a higher-than- expected $34.8 million in taxes, Chief Financial Officer Jason Child said.

10.02.2012 08:56

Tech on USD/JPY

Market Focus

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  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 4.7 million barrels from the previous week
  • Australian unemployment rate stable at 5.6% in June
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