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06.07.2012 07:43

Stocks: Thursday’s review


Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index heading for its first decline in in seven days as a deepening economic slump in Europe outweighed expectations the region’s central bank will ease rates today.

Nikkei 225 9,079.8 -24.37  -0.27%

S&P/ASX 200 4,169.19 -2.96 -0.07%

Shanghai Composite 2,201.35 -25.96 -1.17%

Nippon Sheet Glass Co. , which counts Europe as its biggest market, fell 1.2 percent in Tokyo.

Aquarius Platinum Ltd. tumbled 8.2 percent in Sydney after the world’s fourth-largest producer of the precious metal said output will fall.

Li Ning Co. surged 7.3 percent after founder and Olympic gold medalist Li Ning stepped in as chief executive officer and TPG Capital pledged to boost investment in the sportswear retailer if needed.


European stocks retreated as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said downside risks to the economy remain, offsetting monetary policy easing by countries from China to the U.K.

The ECB cut interest rates to a record low and said it won’t pay anything on overnight deposits. The central bank reduced its main refinancing rate to 0.75 percent from 1 percent and cut its deposit rate to zero from 0.25 percent.

Draghi, the central bank’s president, said some “downside risks to the euro-area economic outlook have materialized. The main downside risks relate to weaker-than-expected economic activity.”

In the U.K, the Bank of England restarted bond buying two months after halting its asset-purchase program. The Monetary Policy Committee led by Governor Mervyn King raised its target by 50 billion pounds ($78 billion) to 375 billion pounds.

National benchmark indexes fell in 14 of the 18 western- European markets. Germany’s DAX declined 0.5 percent and France’s CAC 40 retreated 1.2 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 0.1 percent.

UniCredit SpA and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, Italy’s largest banks, slumped 5.1 percent to 2.81 euros and 4.4 percent to 1.04 euros, respectively. Italy’s 10-year government bonds extended their decline, pushing the yield on the securities above 6 percent earlier today. Yields on two-year notes advanced 27 basis points to 3.70 percent.

In Spain, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA plunged 4.8 percent to 5.46 euros and Banco Santander SA, the country’s largest lender, fell 3.9 percent to 5.10 euros.

Volkswagen climbed 5.1 percent to 134.50 euros after Europe’s largest carmaker agreed to buy the controlling stake in Porsche’s automotive business for 4.46 billion euros ($5.5 billion), ending a seven-year takeover saga that has divided two of Germany’s most powerful families.

U.S. stocks declined, halting a three-day advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, amid disappointment over Europe’s efforts to tame the region’s debt crisis as investors awaited tomorrow’s American jobs report.

Equities fell as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said today’s cut in interest rates to a record low may have only a limited impact on the euro-area economy. China also reduced rates in a bid to spur growth. Tomorrow’s Labor Department data may show the pace of hiring in the U.S. accelerated in June while remaining at less than half the average for the first quarter of the year, economists said.

Today’s economic reports showed that fewer Americans filed jobless claims and hiring beat estimates. Service industries expanded at a slower pace, underscoring Federal Reserve concern that growth isn’t strong enough to reduce unemployment.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. slumped 4.2 percent, the most in the Dow, to $34.38. The lender was ordered by a federal judge to explain why it shouldn’t be compelled to turn over e-mails sought by U.S. regulators in a probe of potential energy-market manipulation. Bank of America slid 3 percent to $7.82.

Netflix Inc. soared 13 percent, the most since January, to $81.72. The largest video-subscription service also had the biggest gain in the S&P 500 (SPX) after an analyst said the company’s online audience exceeds cable and TV networks.


Market Focus

  • The eurozone started the third quarter on a solid footing, according to PMI survey data
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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