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Asian stocks fell, with the benchmark index headed for the first loss in three days, as Chinese exports grew at a slower pace than economists forecast, overshadowing a rebound in Japan’s machinery orders and better- than-expected U.S. jobs data.
Nikkei 225 9,889.86 -39.88 -0.40%
Hang Seng 21,134.18 +48.18 +0.23%
S&P/ASX 200 4,196.69 -15.30 -0.36%
Shanghai Composite 2,434.86 -4.60 -0.19%
Li & Fung Ltd., a supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that gets more than 95 percent of revenue from exports from China, fell 2 percent in Hong Kong.
Samsung Electronics Co., South Korea’s No. 1 consumer electronics exporter, slid 1.1 percent in Seoul after Apple Inc. claimed it violated a court order in a patent-infringement case.
Railway-related shares plunged in Hong Kong after a report a high-speed railway in China collapsed.
Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., a maker of bulldozers and cranes, rose 1.2 percent in Tokyo.
European stocks retreated, halting a three-day rally for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, as a report showed export in China, the world’s second-largest economy, grew at a slower pace than forecast.
China reported its biggest trade deficit last month since at least 1989, adding to last week’s releases on factory output and retail sales that signaled slowing growth.
Finance ministers from the 17 nations that use the euro gathered in Brussels today to approve the 130 billion-euro second bailout package for Greece. Bondholders last week agreed to exchange the country’s privately held debt for new securities.
National benchmark indexes declined in 11 of the 18 western-European markets. Germany’s DAX Index added 0.3 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and France’s CAC 40 Index increased 0.1 percent. Gauges in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece fell.
Vedanta Resources Plc dropped 3.7 percent to 1,369 pence as copper snapped a three-day rally on the London Metal Exchange following signals that China’s economy has slowed. France’s Eramet SA lost 4.1 percent to 107.30 euros, while Rio Tinto Group fell 1.7 percent to 3,450.5 pence.
Temenos dropped 4.9 percent to 15.40 Swiss francs and Misys lost 3.8 percent to 328 pence after the Geneva-based software maker terminated merger talks after failing to reach an agreement on a deal.
Pirelli & C. SpA, Europe’s third-largest tiremaker, surged 7.2 percent to 8.39 euros, its highest price since December 2007. The company posted 2011 profit of 451.6 million euros, exceeding the 314.3 million-euro analyst estimate, and increased its dividend to 27 euro cents.
Most U.S. stocks retreated, capping the thinnest trading day in 2012, as investors weighed whether a Chinese slowdown will lead to an easing of monetary policy.
Equities swung between gains and losses as China had the biggest trade deficit in at least 22 years, the weakest January- February factory-production gain since 2009 and retail sales were below the median economist estimate. Euro-area finance ministers gather in Brussels to sign off on the 130 billion-euro ($170 billion) second package for Greece as they focus on Spain’s budget-cutting efforts and Portugal’s aid program.
Dow 12,959.71 +37.69 +0.29%, Nasdaq 2,983.66 -4.68 -0.16%, S&P 500 1,371.09 +0.22 +0.02%
Newmont Mining, the largest U.S. gold producer, dropped 2 percent to $55.75. Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield-services provider, declined 2.4 percent to $74.02.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) slid 1.2 percent to $40.54. Regions Financial Corp. slumped 2.9 percent to $5.63.
Oracle Corp. slipped 1.4 percent to 29.71. The software maker was cut to hold from buy at Jefferies Group Inc., citing “greater challenges” to its engineered systems strategy.
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. fell 2.1 percent to. The luxury-goods maker and retailer named for the designer who founded it filed for a secondary offering of 25 million shares.
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