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21.03.2012 08:53

Stocks: Tuesday’s review


Asian stocks fell after China raised fuel prices, sparking concern growth in the world’s fastest-growing major economy may slow, and a Federal Reserve official said the U.S. rebound still faces risks.

Nikkei 225 Closed

Hang Seng 20,876.75 -238.54 -1.13%

S&P/ASX 200 4,275.02 -15.78 -0.37%

Shanghai Composite 2,376.84 -33.35 -1.38%

Gome Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd., China’s second- biggest electronics retailer, dropped 4.5 percent.

Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. fell 2 percent after a director of the world’s No. 1 developer was arrested as part of a bribery investigation.

Transurban Group, an Australian operator of toll roads, dropped 2.6 percent after its largest shareholder sold a 7.9 percent stake at a discount.

European stocks dropped the most in two weeks as an official at China’s association of carmakers said auto sales will miss its forecast in 2012.

Vehicle sales in the world’s second-largest economy will probably miss the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers’ forecast for 2012, according to an official at the state-backed body. Total vehicle deliveries -- forecast to grow 8 percent this year -- may fail to increase by even 5 percent because of the “difficult” economy, Gu Xianghua, one of two deputies to the secretary general at the CAAM, said at a conference in Qingdao today, giving his personal opinion.

BHP Billiton said China’s steel production has slowed as the world’s fastest-growing major economy switches its focus toward consumers and away from large building projects.

National benchmark indexes declined in 15 of the 18 western-European markets.

FTSE 100 5,891.41 -69.70 -1.17%, CAC 40 3,530.83 -47.05 -1.32%, DAX 7,054.94 -99.28 -1.39%   

BMW, the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, sank 5 percent to 68.22 euros. Daimler, whose Mercedes-Benz division is third-biggest after BMW and Audi, dropped 4.4 percent to 45.05 euros. Volkswagen, which owns Audi, slid 4.4 percent to 133.05 euros. Porsche SE decreased 3.9 percent to 44.71 euros.

BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, slid 4.1 percent to 1,965 pence as a gauge of mining shares fell. Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third-largest mining company, dropped 4.2 percent to 3,464.5 pence.

U.S. stocks declined, snapping a three-day advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as commodities fell on concern about a Chinese economic slowdown.

Equities fell as China is raising fuel prices for the second time in less than six weeks. The nation’s vehicle sales may miss industry forecasts this year as economic growth slows, an official from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said. BHP Billiton (RIO), the world’s biggest mining company, said China’s steel production is slowing. In the U.S., housing starts hovered in February near a three-year high.

Dow 13,170.94     -68.19 -0.52%, Nasdaq       3,074.15       -4.17   -0.14%, S&P 500    1,405.51       -4.24         -0.30%

Caterpillar (CAT), the world’s biggest maker of construction and mining-equipment, slumped 2.6 percent to $110.76. Alcoa Inc. (АА), the largest U.S. aluminum producer, slid 1.5 percent to $10.44. Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU), the biggest U.S. coal producer, declined 5.4 percent to $31.64.

Adobe sank 3.9 percent to $33.16. Excluding some costs, profit will be 57 cents to 61 cents a share in the second quarter, Adobe said. The midpoint of that range -- 59 cents -- missed the 60 cents predicted by analysts.

Tiffany surged 6.7 percent to $73.27. The company is benefiting from stock-market gains that have prompted luxury consumers to resume jewelry purchases, a turnabout from January, when the retailer said weak spending from U.S. customers had slowed holiday sales.

Market Focus

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  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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