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Asian stocks slipped, with the region’s benchmark dropping for a fifth day as markets opened from a holiday, after the Bank of Japan didn’t add to monetary stimulus and China reported an unexpected trade surplus.
Nikkei 225 9,538.02 -8.24 -0.09%
Hang Seng 20,356.24 -236.76 -1.15%
S&P/ASX 200 4,292.26 -27.58 -0.64%
Shanghai Composite 2,305.86 +20.09 +0.88%
Sony Corp., which yesterday said it will cut 10,000 jobs, extended declines as the yen rose after the Bank of Japan’s decision to leave its stimulus measures unchanged.
China Resources Land Ltd. and other mainland developers dropped after better-than-expected Chinese exports and a report yesterday that inflation accelerated gave policy makers less room to ease monetary policy.
BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest miner, dropped 0.6 percent after crude prices fell.
European stocks tumbled to a two- month low amid mounting concern about the region’s debt crisis and as a U.S. report showed employers in the world’s largest economy added fewer jobs in March than forecast.
Stocks dropped around the world after a report showed that American employers added 120,000 jobs in March, the fewest in five months and less than the median economist forecast of 205,000. The amount had exceeded 200,000 for three straight months.
Spain’s bond yields rose today, after surging the most since January last week, amid concern that the country may join Greece, Ireland and Portugal in requesting a bailout.
National benchmark indexes fell in every western-European market except Greece, where the ASE Index jumped 3.2 percent, and Iceland. France’s CAC 40 slid 3.1 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 decreased 2.2 percent and Germany’s DAX slipped 2.5 percent. Spain’s IBEX 35 plunged 3 percent to its lowest level since March 2009, while Italy’s FTSE MIB sank 5 percent.
Italian banks led a gauge of European lenders lower, with UniCredit, the country’s biggest bank, dropping 8.1 percent to 3.04 euros and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA falling 7.9 percent to 1.14 euros. Banca Popolare di Milano Scarl slumped 6.8 percent to 32.82 euro cents.
STMicroelectronics NV dropped 8.2 percent to 5.33 euros after the chipmaker cut its first-quarter gross-margin forecast. The company said that an arbitration panel ordered it to pay $59 million to NXP Semiconductors Netherlands NV, a supplier.
Elsewhere, Santander lost 3.9 percent to 5.20 euros, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA slid 3.6 percent to 5.40 euros and Banco Popular Espanol SA retreated 3.5 percent to 2.50 euros.
Vedanta fell 6.5 percent to 1,155 pence as base metals declined in London and the company said fourth-quarter iron-ore sales fell to 5.2 million tonnes from 6.4 million tones a year earlier because of a continued mining ban in Karnataka, India.
EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA led a rally in Greek banks, surging 29 percent to 66.9 euro cents. National Bank of Greece SA, the Mediterranean nation’s largest lender, climbed 24 percent to 2.05 euros, while Piraeus Bank SA, Greece’s fourth-biggest lender, jumped 27 percent to 33.1 cents.
U.S. stocks declined for a fifth straight day, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its longest losing streak since November, as a surge in Spanish and Italian bond yields fueled concern Europe’s debt crisis is worsening.
Stocks fell as Spanish bonds slumped after Economy Minister Luis de Guindos declined to rule out a rescue and Bank of Spain Governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez said the nation’s lenders may need more capital if the economy weakens more than expected. The Italian 10-year yield rose 23 basis points to 5.69 percent, sending the spread over bunds to 4.04 percentage points, the most since Jan. 31 on a closing basis.
Investors also awaited the start of the first-quarter earnings season. While per-share profit growth slowed to 0.8 percent from 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter, it will accelerate to 8.3 percent during all of 2012, according to analyst estimates.
Dow 12,715.93 -213.66 -1.65%, Nasdaq 2,991.22 -55.86 -1.83%, S&P 500 1,358.59 -23.61 -1.71%
Bank of America (ВАС) slipped 4.4 percent, the most in the Dow, to $8.54. Caterpillar (САТ) fell 3 percent to $100.43.
Alcoa (АА), the first company in the Dow to report quarterly results, lost 2.9 percent to $9.32. The shares rose 5 percent to $9.79 after the close of regular trading. The largest U.S. aluminum producer reported an unexpected first-quarter profit as customers from automakers to beverage-can manufacturers ordered more of the metal.
Best Buy slumped 5.9 percent to $21.32 after saying board member G. Mike Mikan is taking the CEO position on an interim basis as the company focuses on smaller stores and Internet sales. The change was a “mutual agreement” that new leadership was needed, the company said. A committee of directors has been created to search for a new CEO, the company said.
Supervalu Inc. surged 15 percent, the most in the S&P 500, to $6.13. The supermarket and pharmacy chain forecast 2013 earnings excluding some items of at least $1.27 a share, beating the average analyst forecast of $1.19.
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