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31.07.2012 07:16

Stocks: Monday’s review



Asian stocks headed for the biggest three-day gain in seven weeks, as financial firms advanced amid optimism European policy makers will support the euro and after companies including Konica Minolta Holdings Inc. reported earnings.

Nikkei 225 8,635.44 +68.80 +0.80%

S&P/ASX 200 4,245.7 +35.93 +0.85%

Shanghai Composite 2,112.67 -16.09 -0.76%

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia’s biggest lender by market value, gained 1.8 percent in Sydney after the cost to protect Asian bonds against default declined.

Konica Minolta, an imaging-equipment maker that gets 28 percent of its sales in Europe, jumped 5.8 percent in Tokyo after operating profit almost doubled from a year earlier.

Iluka Resources Ltd. surged 9.2 percent in Sydney after Morgan Stanley raised the mining company’s investment rating.


European stocks rose to their highest level since April amid optimism the European Central Bank will win support from policy makers for a plan to ease the euro area’s debt crisis.

ECB President Mario Draghi proposes using the euro area’s temporary rescue fund to buy government bonds on the primary market, while the central bank purchases securities on the secondary market to ensure the transmission of its record-low interest rates, two central bank officials said on July 27 on condition of anonymity.

European stocks rose for an eighth consecutive week last week as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande joined Draghi in promising to do everything to protect the euro.

Air France surged 19 percent to 4.62 euros, its biggest gain in two decades, after posting a narrower second-quarter loss as a restructuring program helped to reduce operating costs. Europe’s second-largest airline by sales reported an operating loss of 66 million euros compared with 145 million euros a year earlier. That beat the average estimate for a 163 million-euro operating loss of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue rose 4.5 percent to 6.5 billion euros.

International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, the parent company of British Airways Plc, rose 7.2 percent to 162 pence. Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe’s biggest airline by sales, gained 3.2 percent to 10.41 euros.

National benchmark indexes climbed in western-European market except Iceland. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and France’s CAC 40 Index jumped 1.2 percent, while Germany’s DAX Index gained 1.3 percent.

U.S. stocks declined amid concern that a rally which gave the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its biggest two-day gain in 2012 has outpaced the economic outlook.
Stocks declined ahead of an Aug. 3 report that may show the pace of hiring in July failed to reduce the U.S. jobless rate, which has been stuck above 8 percent for more than three years. Policy makers meeting this week are looking for new monetary tools after the Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate to near zero in December 2008 and purchased $2.3 trillion of securities to spur the economy.
Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc plunged 50 percent, the most since 2008, to $5.39. The company failed to gain U.S. approval to expand use of its constipation medicine Relistor licensed to Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Salix decreased 13 percent to $46.25.
Shaw Group Inc. surged 55 percent to $41.49. Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. agreed to buy the company for about $3 billion, expanding its nuclear building services in a portfolio of energy-related engineering and construction projects. Chicago Bridge lost 14 percent to $34.94.


31.07.2012 08:01

Forex: Monday’s review

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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