Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index retreating from a one-month high, as Spain’s borrowing costs climbed to a euro-area record and optimism faded that Greece’s election result will calm the debt crisis.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Greece should not be given more leeway to comply with austerity measures needed to secure international aid after pro-bailout parties won enough seats to form a majority in parliament.
Nikkei 225 8,655.87 -65.15 -0.75%
Hang Seng 19,416.67 -11.14 -0.06%
S&P/ASX 200 4,123.33 -13.57 -0.33%
Shanghai Composite 2,300.8 -15.26 -0.66%
Esprit Holdings Ltd., a clothier that counts Europe as its largest market, declined 2 percent in Hong Kong.
Fairfax Media Ltd. sank 8.5 percent in Sydney amid reports Gina Rinehart, Asia’s richest woman, is seeking three seats on the publisher’s board and power to fire editors.
Canon Inc., a camera maker that gets about 31 percent of sales from Europe, dropped 1.2 percent to 3,200 yen in Tokyo.
European stocks gained for a third day as Greece moved closer to forming a government and a Spanish debt sale met targets, outweighing a bigger-than-forecast decline in German investor confidence.
FTSE 100 5,590.55 +99.46 +1.81%, CAC 40 3,113.26 +47.07 +1.54%, DAX 6,359.23 +111.03 +1.78%.
Home Retail Group Plc surged 23 percent as sales at the Argos chain beat estimates.
Whitbread Plc jumped 6.3 percent as first-quarter revenue increased.
SAP AG rose 2 percent after U.S. peer Oracle Corp. reported fourth-quarter profit that beat estimates.
Danone tumbled 6.1 percent after the world’s biggest yogurt maker cut its profitability forecast.
U.S. stocks advanced, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to the highest level in more than a month, as investors speculated the Federal Reserve will announce more measures to stimulate the world’s largest economy.
Signs of slowing growth amid Europe’s turmoil could mean the Fed, which began a two-day meeting today, could extend its so-called Operation Twist, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Jefferies & Co. The program involves selling short-term debt and buying longer-term bonds. A more aggressive response could be warranted if the Fed see high costs in a slowdown of growth.
The S&P 500 rose 1 percent to 1,357.98 at 4 p.m. New York time, gaining for a fourth day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 95.51 points, or 0.8 percent, to 12,837.33.
Bank of America Corp. climbed 4.5 percent as the Federal Housing Finance Agency said it plans to help banks avoid being forced to buy back mortgages amid concern lenders are tightening standards even for the most creditworthy buyers.
FedEx Corp., operator of the largest cargo airline, jumped 2.8 percent after pledging “significant cost reductions.”
Microsoft Corp. increased 2.9 percent after unveiling a tablet computer.
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