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Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index on course for its biggest gain in almost five months, as China’s trade data beat estimates and investors speculated a bailout for Spain’s banks will help ease Europe’s debt crisis.
Nikkei 225 8,624.9 +165.64 +1.96%
S&P/ASX 200 4,063.7 -44.87 -1.09%
Shanghai Composite 2,305.86 +24.41 +1.07%
China Cosco Holdings Co. jumped 12 percent in Hong Kong as China’s rising imports and exports boosted prospects for shipping lines.
Canon Inc., a camera maker that gets about 31 percent of sales from Europe, rose 3.5 percent in Tokyo.
Sumco Corp. surged 14 percent after the maker of silicon wafers for semiconductors posted operating profit that beat estimates. Gauges of volatility fell across the region.
European stocks erased gains in the final hour of trading, led by a selloff in Spanish and Italian lenders, as optimism faded that Spain’s 100 billion euro ($125 billion) bank bailout will contain the sovereign debt crisis.
The Spanish state’s bank-rescue fund, known as FROB, will receive the money and extend it to lenders. The sum is equivalent to about 10 percent of Spain’s gross domestic product. FROB debt counts as public debt, which amounted to 69 percent of GDP last year.
National benchmark indexes fell in 12 out of 18 western European markets. Germany’s DAX climbed 0.2 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.1 percent and France’s CAC 40 slid 0.3 percent.
Italian lenders declined as the country’s 10-year bonds reversed an earlier advance with investors betting the country is now at the frontline of Europe’s financial woes. UniCredit SpA dropped 8.8 percent to 2.48 euros, Mediobanca SpA slid 5.6 percent to 3.05 euros and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA dropped 5.9 percent to 1.03 euros.
Volkswagen AG increased 1.3 percent to 123.45 euros and Porsche SE rose 2.4 percent to 41.41 euros after VW was said to have cleared an important hurdle toward buying the 50.1 percent of the Porsche sports-car business that it doesn’t already own.
U.S. stocks fell, following the biggest weekly rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index this year, as optimism over Spain’s bailout plan gave way to skepticism it will succeed in halting the debt crisis.
Spain requested as much as 100 billion euros ($125 billion) of European bailout funds to shore up its banking system. The crisis in Spain, coinciding with the prospect of Greece leaving the euro after elections on June 17, roiled markets around the world, sending the euro to an almost two-year low on June 1 and pushing Spanish borrowing costs to near euro-era records.
Apple dropped 1.6 percent to $571.17. It unveiled the next version of its mobile software, adding maps and integration with Facebook Inc., to extend its lead over Google Inc. in the market for handheld devices and downloadable applications. It also upgraded its MacBook computers, adding faster chips and sharper displays to the high-end Pro model months before competing devices with Microsoft Corp.’s Windows arrive on store shelves.
AK Steel paced a plunge in steelmakers. The shares fell 14 percent to $4.99, the lowest price since 2004. Sal Tharani, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, cut his rating to sell. Hot-rolled steel, a benchmark product used in autos and appliances, will fall below $600 a ton, he said in a note published yesterday.
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