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Asian stocks fell, paring the first weekly advance in six weeks, amid concern that central banks are struggling to reinforce global demand amid Europe’s worsening debt crisis.
Nikkei 225 8,459.26 -180.46 -2.09%
S&P/ASX 200 4,063.7 -44.87 -1.09%
Shanghai Composite 2,281.23 -11.90 -0.52%
Sony Corp., Japan’s No. 1 exporter of consumer electronics, slid 5.1 percent.
BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, gained 1.2 percent in Sydney after China cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time since 2008 and metals prices climbed.
Renesas Electronics Corp. soared as much as 19 percent on a report the maker of automotive microcontrollers was scrapping a share sale.
European stocks retreated, paring the Stoxx Europe 600 Index’s biggest weekly gain in four months, after German exports slumped more than forecast and Fitch Ratings cut Spain’s credit rating.
German exports declined in April for the first time this year as Europe’s worsening debt crisis and weaker global growth curbed demand.
Exports, adjusted for work days and seasonal changes, fell 1.7 percent from March, when they gained 0.8 percent, the Federal Statistics Office said today.
Fitch cut Spain’s rating to within two notches from junk, citing the cost of recapitalizing the country’s banking industry and a lengthening recession.
National benchmark indexes fell in 10 of the 18 western European markets. France’s CAC 40 slid 0.6 percent. Germany’s DAX and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 each lost 0.2 percent.
BHP, the world’s largest mining company, fell 2.9 percent to 1,767 pence. BofA-Merrill cut its earning per share estimate for the company by 5.9 percent for full-year 2013 and by 1.8 percent for 2014 on lower oil-price estimates, analyst Peter O’Connor wrote, while holding a neutral rating.
Basic-resource shares lost 2.8 percent for the biggest decline among industry groups in the Stoxx 600 as metals prices fell in London. Vedanta Resources Plc retreated 5.1 percent to 935.5 pence. Eramet dropped 2.5 percent to 86.36 euros.
Lamprell plunged 22 percent to 84.50 pence, paring earlier losses of as much as 37 percent. The U.K. oil and gas rig engineer cut its earnings forecast for the second time in three weeks, saying it expects a first-half loss of $15 million to $20 million.
H&M declined 0.6 percent to 214.30 kronor. The shares earlier fell as much as 4.1 percent after Societe Generale cut its recommendation on the stock to sell from hold, with a share price estimate of 197 kronor.
U.S. stocks rose, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its biggest weekly rally in 2012, on optimism that weekend discussions among European finance officials may result in a bailout for Spain to shore up its lenders.
Earlier today, U.S. equities joined a global slump as German exports dropped in April for the first time this year as weaker global growth curbed demand. French business confidence and Italian output also declined. The trade deficit in the U.S. narrowed in April as a drop in imports overshadowed the first decline in exports in five months.
Telephone, financial and technology shares had the biggest gains among 10 groups in the S&P 500 today. Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), the world’s largest retailer, rose 3.6 percent to $68.22. Intel, the biggest chipmaker, added 1.8 percent to $26.41. JPMorgan (JPM) advanced 2.7 percent to $33.68.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. rallied 2.9 percent to $18.36. The U.S. energy explorer, which is facing a $22 billion cash shortfall because of falling natural-gas prices, agreed to sell its pipeline interests to Global Infrastructure Partners for more than $4 billion.
McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) dropped 0.7 percent to $87.75. The world’s largest restaurant chain said sales at stores open at least 13 months rose 3.3 percent globally last month, falling short of analysts’ estimates, as sales declined in Japan and China.
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