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Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index set to extend its longest weekly winning streak on record, after U.S. jobless claims fell and European leaders agreed to speed up providing a permanent bailout fund for the region’s debt crisis.
Nikkei 225 9,777.03 +69.66 +0.72%
Hang Seng 21,562.26 +174.30 +0.81%
S&P/ASX 200 4,273.1 +17.56 +0.41%
Shanghai Composite 2,460.69 +34.58 +1.43%
James Hardie Industries NV, which makes most of its revenue selling home siding in the U.S., increased 1.4 percent in Sydney.
HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest bank by market value, gained 1.3 percent in Hong Kong.
Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s No. 1 automaker, climbed 1.9 percent in Seoul after U.S. sales advanced last month.
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., Japan’s third-largest shipping line by sales, jumped 7.6 percent in Tokyo as container freight rates on Asia to Europe routes rose.
European stocks rose, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index capping a weekly gain, as policy makers declared a turning point in the sovereign-debt crisis and shifted their focus to pulling the region out of a recession. In a two-day summit that began yesterday in Brussels, euro- area leaders agreed to provide capital faster for the planned permanent bailout fund in a concession to international pressure to strengthen the region’s defenses against the debt crisis. Today, the leaders committed to a pro-growth agenda even as they signed a deficit-control treaty at the 17th high-level meeting since the outbreak of the crisis.
Spain raised its budget deficit target for 2012, breaching its commitment with its European partners. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced a new deficit goal of 5.8 percent of gross domestic product compared with the 4.4 percent target previously agreed with the European Union.
National benchmark indexes rose in 15 of the 18 western European markets. France’s CAC 40 added less than 0.1 percent. Germany’s DAX declined 0.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 lost 0.3 percent.
International Power, an operator of electricity plants on five continents, advanced 4.4 percent to 365.5 pence. Electricite de France SA, Europe’s biggest power generator, rallied 3.3 percent to 19.60 euros. Suez Environnement Co., the region’s second-biggest water company, climbed 3.5 percent to 11.80 euros.
Barclays added 2.2 percent to 256.75 pence. The U.K.’s third-largest lender by assets took 8.2 billion euros of three- year loans from the European Central Bank to provide “funding stability” for its units in Spain and Portugal.
Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest bank, gained 1.2 percent to 1.96 euros. BNP Paribas SA, France’s biggest lender, rose 1.5 percent to 37.92 euros.
Belgacom dropped 4.9 percent to 22.89 euros. The Belgian telephone company said full-year net income fell to 756 million euros from 1.27 billion euros for the prior year.
U.S. stocks retreated amid concern that a rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to an almost four-year high has outpaced global growth prospects.
The euro weakened as Spain raised its budget-deficit target for 2012 and German retail sales unexpectedly declined. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced a new deficit goal of 5.8 percent of gross domestic product compared with the 4.4 percent target previously agreed with the European Union.
A gauge of energy shares had the biggest decline among 10 groups in the S&P 500, falling 1.1 percent. Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) slumped 0.7 percent to $86.23. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. dropped 3.6 percent to $82.72.
Big Lots slid 4 percent to $42.73 after reporting fourth- quarter sales of $1.63 billion. On average, analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated $1.66 billion.
Yelp climbed 64 percent to $24.33. The San Francisco-based company raised $107.3 million in the IPO, pricing the shares at $15 each, according to a statement yesterday. The company earlier offered them for $12 to $14.
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