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Asian stocks pared an early advance, with the regional benchmark index swinging between gains and losses, as speculation China won’t ease lending curbs countered better-than-estimated U.S. consumer sentiment and spending reports.
Nikkei 225 10,109.87 +26.31 +0.26%
Hang Seng 20,522.26 -33.32 -0.16%
S&P/ASX 200 4,329.27 -5.97 -0.14%
Shanghai Composite Closed
China Resources Land Ltd., a state-owned developer, slid 1.3 percent in Hong Kong, reversing an earlier increase, after Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang said policy makers will continue to take steps to stabilize prices.
Honda Motor Co., a Japanese carmaker that gets 44 percent of its sales in North America, added 2.5 percent after U.S. consumer sentiment climbed to its highest level in more than a year.
NGK Insulators Ltd. slumped 9.2 percent in Tokyo after saying it may not be able to meet demand for batteries from a regional Japanese utility.
European stocks climbed the most in almost three weeks, erasing earlier losses, as reports showed manufacturing expanded more than forecast in the U.S. and China.
Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded more than forecast in March. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index climbed to 53.4 from 52.4 in February, data showed. Economists had estimated an increase to 53. Readings above 50 signal growth.
China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index compiled by the logistics federation and the National Bureau of Statistics rose to 53.1 in March from 51 in February.
National benchmark indexes advanced in 12 out of 18 western-European markets. France’s CAC 40 Index climbed 1.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose 1.9 percent while Germany’s DAX Index rallied 1.6 percent.
Oriflame paced advancing shares, gaining 2.6 percent to 261.50 kronor after Coty offered to buy Avon, a door-to-door cosmetics seller, for $23.25 a share in cash. Oriflame sells cosmetics at parties hosted in private homes.
Novo Nordisk jumped 5.6 percent to 815.50 kroner. The world’s biggest insulin maker said it will meet its 2014 target date to begin selling an obesity drug, Victoza, Copenhagen-based newspaper Borsen reported, citing an interview with Chief Science Officer Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen.
Stada Arzneimittel AG gained 4.7 percent to 25.78 euros, Merck KGaA climbed 4.3 percent to 86.55 euros and UCB SA advanced 4.6 percent to 33.83 euros.
A gauge of mining stocks was the second best-performer on the Stoxx 600 Index, led by U.K.-listed companies. Fresnillo Plc added 4.1 percent to 66 pence, Rio Tinto Group gained 3.2 percent to 110 pence and BHP Billiton Ltd. climbed 3 percent to 57.5 pence.
U.S. stocks rose, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its highest level since December 2007, on stronger-than-forecast growth in manufacturing.
Equities gained as manufacturing in the U.S. expanded at a faster pace than forecast in March, a sign that the industry is weathering slower global growth. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 53.4 from 52.4 a month earlier, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s data showed. Fifty is the dividing line between growth and contraction. Economists projected the gauge would climb to 53.
A separate report showed construction spending decreased 1.1 percent in February, compared with the median economist forecast for growth of 0.6 percent.
Dow 13,264.49 +52.45 +0.40%, Nasdaq 3,119.70 +28.13 +0.91%, S&P 500 1,418.90 +10.43 +0.74%
All 10 groups in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced. Commodity shares rose the most among 10 groups in the S&P 500 after a gauge of manufacturing in China signaled stronger demand.
Freeport-McMoRan jumped 2.8 percent to $39.11. Alpha Natural, a coal producer, rallied 1.7 percent to $15.47. Alcoa Inc. (AA) added 1.5 percent, the most in the Dow, to $10.17, while Chevron Corp. (CVX) increased 1 percent to $108.30.
Financial shares advanced 0.8 percent as a group in the S&P 500. Bank of America (ВАС) added 1.2 percent to $9.68, while Morgan Stanley increased 0.9 percent to $19.81.
Avon surged 17 percent, the most since July 2008, to $22.70. Coty said it has submitted a non-binding proposal to acquire the door-to-door cosmetics seller for $23.25 a share in cash. The purchase price represents a premium of about 27 percent over the three-month average weighted price for Avon shares, Coty said.
Groupon Inc. tumbled 17 percent to $15.28 after the largest provider of daily deals online reported a “material weakness” in its financial controls and said fourth-quarter revenue was lower than it had stated because of higher refunds to merchants.
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