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Asian stocks rose, extending the benchmark gauge’s longest streak of weekly gains since 2005, after China cut reserve requirements for banks to fuel lending and buoy economic growth, boosting demand for riskier assets.
Nikkei 225 9,485.09 +100.92 +1.08%
Hang Seng 21,427.06 -64.56 -0.30%
S&P/ASX 200 4,256.1 +60.23 +1.44%
Shanghai Composite 2,363.6 +6.42 +0.27%
Japanese steelmakers rose after Credit Suisse raised their stock-price estimates and maintained their “outperform” ratings. The investment bank expects export prices to recover and input prices to fall.
Franshion Properties China Ltd., a developer that gets all of its revenue from the mainland, rose 7.4 percent in Hong Kong. China Shipping Container Lines Co., the country’s second-largest carrier of sea-cargo boxes, jumped 7.3 percent. Japanese steelmakers advanced after Credit Suisse Group AG boosted their share-price estimates.
Billabong International Ltd. , an Australian surfwear company, jumped 8 percent in Sydney, extending its surge on Feb. 17, after saying it is considering a revised takeover offer.
European stocks rose for a fourth day, extending a six-month high, as euro-area finance ministers met in Brussels to discuss a Greek bailout and China cut banks’ reserve requirements to boost growth.
Finance ministers are meeting in Brussels to weigh the terms of new loans to Greece and a possible contribution by central banks. They also aim to start a bond exchange with private investors meant to stave off a Greek bankruptcy next month.
China cut the amount of cash that banks must set aside as reserves for the second time in three months to spur lending. Reserve requirements will fall by 50 basis points effective Feb. 24, the People’s Bank of China said.
National benchmarks gained in 17 of the 18 western European markets. France’s CAC 40 Index advanced 0.9 percent, while Germany’s DAX index added 1.4 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose 0.6 percent.
TNT Express surged 60 percent to 10.13 euros after Europe’s second-largest package-delivery company rejected a $6.43 billion takeover offer from UPS.
A gauge of European energy companies rose 1 percent as oil rose to a nine-month high in New York after Iran said it halted some crude exports and investors bet that fuel demand will increase.
BP added 2.2 percent to 499.9 pence. Petroleum Geo-Services ASA jumped 9.2 percent to 87.65 kroner, its highest since Aug. 2, after fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization beat analysts’ estimates.
BHP Billiton Ltd. climbed 2.6 percent to 2,075.5 pence, while Rio Tinto Group added 2.2 percent to 3,702.5 pence.
U.S. financial markets are closed today in observance of Presidents Day
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