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02.05.2012 08:01

Stocks: Tuesday’s review

Asia’s benchmark stock index fell, paring yesterday’s advance, as Japanese companies forecast lower-than-estimated earnings and as the outlook for exporters dimmed after a report signaled U.S. manufacturing is slowing.

Nikkei 225 9,350.95 -169.94 -1.78%

Hang Seng Closed

S&P/ASX 200 4,429.51 +32.93 +0.75%

Shanghai Composite Closed

Tokyo Electron Ltd., which sells industrial electronics products, sank 8.3 percent after its earnings estimate trailed analysts’ projections.

Sony Corp. Japan’s No. 1 exporter of consumer electronics, lost 3.9 percent as the yen gained against the dollar to the highest level since February.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 1.7 percent as the nation’s central bank cut interest rates to spur growth.

All western European markets, except the U.K., Ireland and Denmark, were closed for the May Day holiday. U.K. stocks jumped the most in two weeks after Lloyds Banking Group Plc reported profit that topped analyst estimates and U.S. manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace in 10 months.

Stocks extended gains today after U.S. data showed manufacturing in the world’s largest economy expanded in April, driven by gains in orders and production. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index climbed to 54.8, exceeding the most optimistic forecast, from 53.4 in March. Readings greater than 50 signal growth.

In contrast, U.K. manufacturing grew at a slower rate than economists forecast in April as new export orders declined at the fastest pace since May 2009.

Lloyds jumped 8.3 percent to 33.60 pence after pretax profit, excluding one-time items and asset sales, more than doubled to 628 million pounds ($1 billion). The median analyst estimate was for a profit of 422 million pounds. Total impairments fell by 36 percent, helped by the lender’s Irish and Australian units.

Imperial Tobacco increased 3.7 percent to 2,556 pence after Europe’s second-biggest tobacco company reported a 3 percent increase in adjusted operating profit to 1.52 billion pounds in the six months ended March 31, helped by higher prices for cigarettes in the U.K.

BP retreated 0.8 percent to 441.3 pence. Europe’s second- largest oil company reported a 19 percent decline in first- quarter net income to $5.9 billion, as asset sales lowered production and refining weakened.

U.S. stocks advanced, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to the highest level since December 2007, after a better-than-estimated manufacturing report bolstered investors’ optimism in the world’s largest economy.

Stocks rose as manufacturing unexpectedly expanded in April at the fastest pace in 10 months. The report added to optimism after data showed growth in Chinese manufacturing. Investors also watched corporate earnings as 74 percent of S&P 500 companies that reported results since April 10 have beaten projections.

JPMorgan (JPM) jumped 1.9 percent to $43.79. Alcoa (AA), the biggest U.S. aluminum producer, increased 2.5 percent to $9.97.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. added 2.5 percent to $75.06. The second-largest U.S. independent oil and natural-gas producer by market value said first-quarter profit rose on higher crude prices and a $1.8 billion gain from an Algerian tax settlement.

Avon Products Inc. slumped 8 percent, the biggest loss in the S&P 500, to $19.87. The door-to-door cosmetics seller that’s the target of a $10 billion takeover bid from Coty Inc. reported first-quarter profit that trailed estimates, hurt by higher labor and materials costs.

Market Focus

  • The eurozone started the third quarter on a solid footing, according to PMI survey data
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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