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Asian stocks ended session mixed as speculation heightened Greece may exit from the single European currency, countering China’s efforts to shore up economic growth by cutting the level of cash banks must set aside as reserves.
Nikkei 8,973.84 +20.53 +0.23%
S&P/ASX 4,297 +11.93 +0.28%
Hang Seng 19,742.39 -222.24 -1.11%
Shanghai Composite 2,380.73 -14.26 -0.60%Shares of China Longyuan Power tumbled 11% after saying it plans to issue no more than 1.36 billion new H- shares, representing as much as 50 percent of total issued shares.
Shares of NCsoft Corp., an online-game maker, dropped 11%. Its rival Blizzard Entertainment, plans to launch its Diablo III game tomorrow.
Shares of NGK Insulators Ltd., a ceramic maker, jumped 8.1% after the Nikkei newspaper said the company plans to resume sodium-battery production as early as July.
Shares of Westgold Resources Ltd., an Australian goldminer, surged 17% in Sydney after saying it will merge with a tin and nickel miner Metals X Ltd., which dropped 8.1%.
European stocks retreated, snapping two days of gains, as Greece moved closer to a possible exit from the euro currency union and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party lost a state election.
Greece’s President, Karolos Papoulias, failed to secure agreement on a unity government and avert new elections. Syriza, the left-wing group opposed to spending cuts, defied overtures to join the government yesterday.
Merkel’s party lost an election in Germany’s most populous state, helping the Social Democrats tighten their grip on the country’s regional governments.
National benchmark indexes fell in all of the 18 western- European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 declined 2 percent. France’s CAC 40 lost 2.3 percent. Germany’s DAX dropped 1.9 percent. Greece’s ASE Index plunged 4.6 percent to the lowest level since November 1992.
A gauge of European banking shares was among the second- worst performer of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600. HSBC tumbled 1.5 percent to 545.8 pence. Deutsche Bank AG and BNP Paribas SA dropped 4.1 percent to 29.88 euros and 3.7 percent to 27.62 euros, respectively.
Nokia Oyj declined 7.3 percent to 2.33 euros after Andy Perkins, an analyst at Societe Generale, downgraded the stock to sell from hold. This is the lowest price for stock since November 1996.
Lonmin Plc, the world’s third-largest platinum producer, slumped 5.2 percent to 854 pence after posting an unexpected first-half loss. The loss excluding one-time items was 6.9 cents a share in the six months through March. That compares with the median estimate for profit of 9 cents.
U.S. stocks declined, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to the lowest level since January, as Greece struggled to form a new government amid growing speculation the nation may leave the European currency.
Global stocks fell as Greece’s political deadlock went into a second week after President Karolos Papoulias failed to secure agreement on a unity government. Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece’s Syriza party, said Europe must reexamine its policy of austerity and that his party wants Greece to stay in the euro.
American banks slumped as a measure of European lenders tumbled 2.8 percent. JPMorgan (JPM), which plunged 9.3 percent on May 11, lost 3.2 percent to $35.79. Bank of America (ВАС) fell 2.7 percent to $7.35. Citigroup Inc. retreated 4.1 percent to $28.14.
Symantec slid 1.4 percent to $15.24. Goldman Sachs cut its rating to sell from neutral, citing worsening margins and cash flows. The share-price estimate was lowered to $14 from $16.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. surged 4.8 percent to $15.52. The company reached a $3 billion loan agreement with a unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and affiliates of Jefferies Group Inc. to help ease a cash shortfall that threatens to curtail its development of oil and natural-gas wells.
Avon Products Inc. rallied 3.8 percent to $20.96 as the company said it will respond within a week to Coty Inc., the perfume-maker that last week boosted its takeover offer for Avon to $10.7 billion.
Yahoo! Inc. rose 2 percent to $15.50. Chief Executive Officer Scott Thompson is stepping down after failing to correct errors in his credentials and the company is revamping its board, handing a victory to activist investor Daniel Loeb, who had pushed for the overhaul.
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