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05.10.2012 07:23

Stocks: Thursday’s review



Asian stocks rose, with a regional benchmark index heading for its highest close in a week, as reports on U.S. jobs and service industries beat expectations, easing concern the world’s biggest economy is slowing. The European Central Bank and the Bank of England also hold policy meetings today, after the Reserve Bank of Australia unexpectedly cut interest rates on Oct. 2.

Nikkei 225 8,824.59 +77.72 +0.89%

S&P/ASX 200 4,452.4 +13.84 +0.31%

Shanghai Composite 2,086.17 +29.85 +1.45%

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest carmaker by market value, climbed 3 percent in Tokyo.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings Ltd. advanced 3.7 percent in Wellington after directors of the refrigerator maker rejected a bid from China’s Haier Corp., saying it is too low.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia’s second-biggest oil producer, slid 1 percent in Sydney as oil traded near a two-month low.

European stocks closed little changed as the European Central Bank and the Bank of England left their benchmark interest rates on hold.

The ECB kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.75 percent, as predicted by 48 of 52 economists in a survey. The central bank is ready to start buying government bonds as soon as the necessary conditions are fulfilled, President Mario Draghi said today at a press conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The Bank of England maintained its bond-purchase target at 375 billion pounds ($604 billion) and held interest rates at 0.5 percent, as economists had forecast.

National benchmark indexes declined in 12 of the 18 western European markets. Germany’s DAX fell 0.2 percent and France’s CAC 40 declined 0.1 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 was little changed while the Swiss Market Index rose 0.4 percent.

Nobel Biocare retreated 4.3 percent to 9.03 Swiss francs after saying a drop in the Japanese market in the third quarter is “materially impacting” full-year sales and profit. The world’s second-biggest maker of dental implants said annual earnings before interest and taxes will be in the range of 67 million euros to 70 million euros. While Japan represents 13 percent of sales, it contributes “disproportionately high profit,” the company said.

Gerresheimer AG lost 2.3 percent to 39.79 euros. The German producer of pharmaceutical and health-care equipment posted third-quarter adjusted earnings of 62 cents per share, missing the average analyst estimate of 70 cents.

Halfords surged 14 percent to 303.5 pence, the most since the company listed in 2004, after the company said it expects 2013 profit before tax in the upper half of its previously forecast range of 62 million pounds to 70 million pounds. The company also reported second-half same-store sales growth that beat analyst estimates.

Major U.S. stock indexes rose. Support indices have published data on the number of applications for unemployment benefits, which are for the most recent reporting week went slightly better than expected (367 vs. 371 thousand thousand).

Supported the positive sentiment statement by ECB President Mario Draghi, who at a press conference today noted the positive impact of the new bond-buying program and expressed readiness to resort to the program, as soon as this will be necessary.

Growth indices kept released after the start of trading data on factory orders in the United States, the decline in August of that expected at at -4.1% against growth of 2% in July, in fact, orders fell by 5.2%.

In the composition of the index DOW most components increased in price. Maximum growth showed stocks Alcoa (AA, +3.42%) and Bank of America (BAC, +3.40%).

All of the major economic sectors rose. Leading financial sector (+1.3%). The smallest increase in the tech sector (+0.3%).

NuVasive medical devices plummeted 33% after management lowered the forecast for sales in the third quarter due to "unusually high" number of customers switched to competitors.

U.S. retailer Costco Wholesale reported a 6% growth of same-store sales in September, and as a result its shares rose 1.9%.

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