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Asian stocks fell, with a regional benchmark retreating after a record 10-week advance, as oil near a nine-month high and continued concern that Greece will not be able to avoid a default spurred investors to lock in gains. Japanese exporters rose as the yen’s decline boosted their earnings outlook.
Nikkei 225 9,633.93 -13.45 -0.14%
Hang Seng 21,214.03 -192.83 -0.90%
S&P/ASX 200 4,267.37 -39.41 -0.92%
Shanghai Composite 2,447.06 +7.43 +0.30%
Korean Air Lines Co., the nation’s biggest carrier by market value, sank 5.3 percent in Seoul.
Newcrest Mining Ltd. dropped 3 percent in Sydney after JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut its rating on Australia’s largest gold producer.
Sony Corp., Japan’s No. 1 exporter of consumer electronics, gained 1.2 percent in Tokyo as the yen fell to a nine-month low against the dollar.
European stocks declined, extending last week’s retreat, as the Group of 20 nations rejected calls from the euro area to increase the International Monetary Fund’s lending resources.
G-20 officials told the euro area’s political leaders to provide more financial firepower before they consider lending their support, putting the onus on Germany, already the biggest national contributor to the bailouts.
Germany went to the Mexico meetings of finance ministers and central bankers urging G-20 nations to find further money that the IMF could channel to the euro area.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who attended the talks, said she wants to increase the fund’s lending capacity by $500 billion so that it can fend off “further shocks” to the global economy.
National benchmark indexes fell in 13 of the 17 western- European markets that were open today. France’s CAC 40 Index fell 0.7 percent, Germany’s DAX Index lost 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slid 0.3 percent.
HSBC fell 3.7 percent to 553.5 pence, the biggest contribution to the Stoxx 600 (SXXP)’s retreat, after reporting a 15 percent increase in pretax profit to $21.9 billion last year. That missed the $22.3 billion median analyst estimate.
Maersk slid 3.7 percent to 43,840 kroner after the shipping company posted a 43 percent drop in 2011 profit to 15.2 billion kroner ($2.7 billion). That compared with the average analyst estimate of 14.8 billion kroner. Falling freight rates pushed its container line to a loss in 2011. The company said that the division will also lose money in 2012.
Porsche SE rallied 3.1 percent to 50.07 euros after people familiar with the matter said Volkswagen AG (VOW), Europe’s largest carmaker, is close to a deal to purchase the 50.1 percent stake in Porsche’s automotive business that it doesn’t already own. The company may announce a plan within the next two weeks, said the people who declined to be identified.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose to an almost four-year high, rebounding from earlier losses, on better-than-estimated housing data as financial shares rallied.
Stocks rose today as more Americans than forecast signed contracts to buy previously owned homes in January, indicating the industry that sparked the last recession is improving. Benchmark gauges rebounded from earlier losses, which were triggered by concern about Europe’s debt crisis after the Group of 20 nations rebuffed euro area call for help.
Dow 12,981.51 -1.44 -0.01%, Nasdaq 2,966.16 +2.41 +0.08%, S&P 500 1,367.59 +1.85 +0.14%
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) jumped 2 percent, the most in the Dow, to $39.06. Its parts are worth one-third more than its market value, according to CLSA’s Mayo.
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) climbed 2 percent to $8.04. The lender and a group of investors that reached an $8.5 billion mortgage-bond settlement with the bank won their bid to remove the case from a federal judge and return it to state court.
Lowe’s Cos. rose 0.7 percent to $27.34. The second-largest U.S. home-improvement retailer reported fourth-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates after warmer weather encouraged outdoor projects.
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) added 0.8 percent to $41.64. The largest U.S. entertainment company by market value was raised to “conviction buy” from “neutral” at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which expects accelerating ad growth at ESPN.
Dendreon Corp. tumbled 21 percent, the most since Nov. 3, to $11.81. The maker of the prostate-cancer drug Provenge reported earnings that missed analyst estimates.
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