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18.07.2012 07:29

Stocks: Tuesday’s review

Asian stocks rose for a third day amid optimism policy makers from China to the U.S. will do more to support the world’s largest economies amid a slowdown that prompted the International Monetary Fund to cut its forecast for global growth.

Nikkei 225 8,755 +30.88 +0.35%

Hang Seng 19,460.48 +339.14 +1.77%

S&P/ASX 200 4,140.8 +35.70 +0.87%

Shanghai Composite 2,161.19 +13.23 +0.62%

China Railway Group Ltd. rose 4.4 percent in Hong Kong after the government said it will boost spending on rail lines.

Fraser & Neave Ltd. jumped 4.4 percent in Singapore after Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and its insurance unit received an offer for their stake in the beverage maker.

JX Holdings Inc sank 6 percent in Tokyo after saying it will shut of one of its refineries after finding falsified safety reports.

European stocks fell for the first time in three days as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s testimony to Congress disappointed investors looking for him to signal fresh stimulus measures.

Recent economic data have had a “generally disappointing tone,” Bernanke said in the first of two days testifying before Congress as part of the central bank’s semiannual monetary policy report. He said the Fed is prepared to take further action “as appropriate to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability,” without offering any specific policy ideas.

Minutes from the Fed’s June meeting, released on July 11, showed that two participants supported additional bond purchases, while two others said only a further deterioration in the economy would warrant them.

National benchmark indexes fell in eight of the 18 western European markets today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 (UKX) declined 0.6 percent and France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.1 percent. Germany’s DAX rose 0.2 percent.

CSR rallied 34 percent to 292 pence, the biggest increase since it sold shares in 2004. Samsung, the world’s largest mobile-phone maker, agreed to buy the company’s wireless technology unit for $310 million in cash and take a minority stake in the British chip designer.

L’Oreal increased 1.4 percent to 93.33 euros as Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded the shares to neutral from underperform.

U.S. stocks rose, erasing earlier losses, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told senators the central bank is prepared to act to boost growth if the labor market doesn’t improve.
Stocks headed lower in the first hour of trading as Bernanke’s prepared testimony to Congress cited no specific details on the central bank’s plans, disappointing investors anticipating a more aggressive approach to helping the economy. Equities recovered as Bernanke’s responses to senators boosted confidence that he’s prepared to take action.
Bernanke told lawmakers that progress in reducing unemployment is likely to be “frustratingly slow” and repeated that the central bank is ready to take further action to boost the recovery, while refraining from pledging any new policies.
Walt Disney rallied 3.1 percent to $49.35, its highest price ever, helping lead consumer discretionary stocks higher. The company was raised to buy from neutral by Bank of America, which cited a boost to 2012 earnings from the film “Marvel’s The Avengers” and a contribution to profit next year from the opening of Cars Land.
Coca-Cola advanced 1.6 percent to $77.69. The world’s largest soft-drink maker reported second-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates, helped by pricing increases in North America late last year.
Mattel jumped 9.7 percent to $34.05 for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. The world’s largest toymaker surged the most in more than three years as price increases helped second-quarter profit and revenue top analyst estimates.

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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