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Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index erasing this year’s gains, after U.S. economic data missed estimates and ratings agencies downgraded Spanish banks and Greece as Europe’s debt crisis deepens.
Nikkei 225 8,611.31 -265.28 -2.99%
Hang Seng 18,901.01 -299.92 -1.56%
S&P/ASX 200 4,046.46 -110.95 -2.67%
Shanghai Composite 2,344.52 -34.37 -1.44%
Samsung Electronics Co., a consumer-electronics maker that gets 40 percent of sales from Europe and America, dropped 4.7 percent in Seoul as exporters tumbled.
Japanese machinery makers plunged in Tokyo after sales growth slowed at industry bellwether Caterpillar Inc.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of Hong Kong-listed Chinese companies fell as much as 20 percent from its high for the year on Feb. 29 after home prices slid in a record number of mainland cities during April.
European stocks fell for a fifth day, posting their biggest weekly selloff since September, amid signs of slowing growth in China and continued concern that Greece will have to leave the euro area.
Almost $4 trillion has been wiped from global equity markets in May amid mounting concern Greece will have to leave the euro currency union. The country’s credit rating was reduced one level by Fitch Ratings late yesterday amid concern it will not muster the political support needed to remain a member of the 17-nation euro area.
Moody’s lowered the debt ratings of 16 Spanish banks after the close of U.S. trading yesterday, citing mounting loan losses, the country’s recession, restricted access to funds and the reduced ability of the government to support lenders as its own creditworthiness diminishes.
National benchmark indexes retreated in 14 of the 17 western-European market that opened today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 slid 1.3 percent, while Germany’s DAX slid 0.6 percent. France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.1 percent.
Rio Tinto, the world’s third-biggest mining company, retreated 2.4 percent to 2,788 pence. Vedanta Resources Plc lost 2.7 percent to 958.5 pence and Xstrata Plc dropped 4.3 percent to 914.7 pence.
Volkswagen dropped 2 percent to 128.20 euros, Porsche SE slid 2.4 percent to 39.93 euros and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG lost 2.3 percent to 61.31 euros. Volvo AB sank 4.6 percent to 78.45 kronor.
LSE jumped 2.9 percent to 992 pence after Europe’s oldest independent bourse posted profit for the six months to the end of March that surged to 405.9 million pounds ($641 million), boosted by money earned from deposits at its Italian central counterparty.
U.S. stocks dropped for a sixth day, the longest slump since November for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as Facebook Inc.’s record initial public offering failed to boost confidence in a market rattled by Europe’s debt crisis.
Stocks fell a third week in the longest losing streak since August. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said turmoil in the financial markets caused by Europe’s crisis may last another two years, as Group of Eight leaders prepared to discuss Greece and its impact on the global economy. LCH Clearnet Ltd., Europe’s biggest clearing house, raised the extra deposit it demands from clients to trade some Spanish government bonds.
Equities rallied earlier today amid optimism about Facebook’s trading debut. The delayed opening and halts in other companies including Zynga weighed on the market following the year’s most anticipated IPO.
Yahoo! Inc. rallied 3.7 percent to $15.42. The company is in talks to sell about 20 percent of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. back to the Chinese Internet company for about $7 billion, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Salesforce.com Inc. advanced 8.8 percent to $145.58 for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. The largest seller of online customer-management software forecast fiscal second-quarter sales that beat estimates as it signs more large deals with corporate customers.
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