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Asian stocks fell, paring the regional index’s longest streak of weekly gains since 2005, as European leaders held back aid for debt-laden Greece pending a parliamentary vote on an austerity plan and as companies cut earnings forecasts.
Nikkei 225 8,947.17 -55.07 -0.61%
Hang Seng 20,783.86 -226.15 -1.08%
S&P/ASX 200 4,245.33 -37.54 -0.88%
Shanghai Composite 2,351.98 +2.39 +0.10%
Samsung Electronics Co., a South Korean consumer electronics maker that gets a fifth of sales from Europe, slid 2 percent.
AOC Holdings Inc., a Japanese oil and gas explorer, tumbled 9.8 percent in Tokyo after cutting its full-year profit forecast by half.
Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third-biggest mining company, dropped 2.3 percent in Sydney after posting a second-half loss.
Among stocks that advanced, Newcrest Mining Ltd. rose 1.7 percent to A$34.01 after Australia’s largest gold producer said first-half net income rose 50 percent from a year earlier to a record of A$659 million ($711 million).
European stocks fell for the fourth time in five days as a leader in Greece’s coalition government said he won’t support more spending cuts demanded by the region’s finance ministers.
George Karatzaferis, the leader of the Laos party, today said he couldn’t support the accord worked out for a new financing agreement in its present form.
Euro-area finance ministers yesterday refused to approve a second aid package because of a lack of assurances by Greek party leaders that they will stick to their commitments after elections due as soon as April. The ministers asked Greece to turn its budget cuts into law and identify 325 million euros ($429 million) in spending reductions.
National benchmark indexes declined in 16 of the 18 western-European markets today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slipped 0.7 percent. France’s CAC 40 Index dropped 1.5 percent, while Germany’s DAX Index lost 1.4 percent.
National Bank of Greece, the country’s largest lender, fell 9.5 percent to 2.68 euros. Alpha Bank SA, the second-biggest, plummeted 9.4 percent to 1.45 euros. EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA dropped 9.3 percent to 88 euro cents.
Saab declined 8.6 percent to 136.40 kronor, its biggest drop since August. The Swedish company reported a fourth-quarter net income of 413 million kronor ($62 million) against analysts’ projection for 474 million kronor.
Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second-biggest lender, lost 5.2 percent to 2.06 euros.
Alcatel-Lucent, France’s largest telecommunications-gear supplier, jumped 12 percent to 1.68 euros after it said it expects to increase adjusted operating margins in 2012.
Total SA dropped 1.4 percent to 40.58 euros. The company plans to cut net investments to $20 billion in 2012, compared with $22 billion last year. Adjusted net income in the fourth quarter was 2.73 billion euros, in line with the average analyst estimate of 2.72 billion euros.
U.S. stocks fell, snapping a five- week-rally for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, amid concern plans to help Greece avoid default were unraveling and as confidence among American consumers dropped more than forecast.
Global equities tumbled after George Karatzaferis, who heads one of the three parties supporting interim Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, said he wouldn’t support austerity measures worked out for a rescue. He spoke hours after German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told lawmakers in Berlin that Greece was missing deficit targets.
Stocks extended losses as the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment dropped to 72.5 from 75 in January.
Dow 12,801.23 -89.23 -0.69%, Nasdaq 2,903.88 -23.35 -0.80%, S&P 500 1,342.64 -9.31 -0.69%
Citigroup sank 2.28 percent. Bank of America (ВАС) lost 1.34 percent.
Concern that Europe’s debt crisis may curb global economic growth also drove energy and raw material producers lower. Copper shipments to China fell for the first time in eight months in January, while inventories monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced to a record after rising for a ninth straight week.
Freeport-McMoRan, the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer, sank 3.19 percent. Alcoa (АА) erased 3.29 percent. Halliburton fell 1.93 percent.
Apollo Global Management LLC dropped 6.13 percent. The private equity firm that went public last year said fourth- quarter profit fell 66 percent as market swings hurt its private equity holdings.
LinkedIn Corp. surged 17.76 percent. The biggest professional-networking website reported quarterly sales that more than doubled and forecast higher 2012 revenue, buoyed by advertising and subscriptions.
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