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19.10.2012 07:01

Stocks: Thursday’s review



Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index headed for its highest close in a month, after China’s economic growth matched economists’ estimates and U.S. housing starts jumped.

Nikkei 225 8,982.86 +176.31 +2.00%

S&P/ASX 200 4,559.4 +31.19 +0.69%

Shanghai Composite 2,132.3 +26.68 +1.27%

China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. rose 2.1 percent in Hong Kong.

James Hardie Industries SE, a building-materials supplier that gets 67 percent of sales from the U.S., gained 2 percent in Sydney.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia’s second- biggest oil producer, advanced 2.7 percent after boosting its output forecast.


European stocks climbed for a fourth day as a measure of U.S. manufacturing beat estimates, while investors awaited the outcome of a two-day summit of the European Union’s leaders.

EU leaders gathered in Brussels for a two-day summit. French President Francois Hollande earlier said that efforts to stem the debt crisis may unravel if member states fail to deliver on their promises. He called on the euro area to introduce a banking union, provide economic help to countries that reduce budget deficits, and show investors that Greece can stay in the single currency if it abides by its commitments.

The yield on Spain’s benchmark 10-year bonds fell to a six- month low after the country sold 4.61 billion euros ($6 billion) of securities due in 2015, 2016 and 2022. The government had planned to auction 4.5 billion euros of debt.

National benchmark indexes advanced in 10 of the 18 western-European markets today. France’s CAC 40 gained 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent. Germany’s DAX climbed 0.6 percent.

Nestle slipped 1.7 percent to 61.20 Swiss francs for the biggest drag on the Stoxx 600. The world’s largest food company reported in a statement that revenue excluding acquisitions, divestments and currency swings gained 6.1 percent. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had called for sales to climb 6.3 percent.

Remy Cointreau plunged 8 percent to 80.24 euros, its biggest drop since March 2009. Organic revenue rose 13 percent in the six months through September, the company said. That missed the median estimate of nine analysts for an 18 percent gain. Revenue climbed 5.3 percent in the second quarter. It had surged 24 percent in the first three months of the fiscal year.

Akzo Nobel NV slid 4 percent to 42.78 euros after the paintmaker booked a 2.5 billion-euro writedown for its decorative-coatings business. The company overestimated market growth, Chief Financial Officer Keith Nichols said in a conference call today. Demand for its Dulux paint range has fallen. Akzo will introduce further cost-cutting measures to counter the slowdown, he said.

U.S. stocks fell, after a three-day advance in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX), as Google (GOOG) Inc. pulled down technology shares after reporting third-quarter profit and sales that missed estimates.

Google dropped 8.1 percent after the earnings report was filed inadvertently during regular trading hours. Technology shares had the biggest decline among 10 groups in the S&P 500.

U.S. stocks slumped early in the trading day as Labor Department figures showed more Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, reflecting an unwinding of adjustments for seasonal swings at the start of a quarter.

Equities pared declines as the index of U.S. leading economic indicators rose in September by the most in seven months, boosted in part by a jump in permits for home construction that’s helping underpin the expansion.

Manufacturing in the Philadelphia region expanded in October for the first time in six months, a sign the industry may be starting to stabilize. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index rose to 5.7 in October from minus 1.9 in September. A reading of zero is the dividing line between expansion and contraction in the area covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

DOW index components showed a mixed trend. Shares fell more than other American Express (AXP, -2.96%) and International Business Machines (IBM, -2.83%). The leaders in the DOW index stocks Travelers (TRV, +3.59%).

Main sectors also showed a mixed trend. Maximum growth in the sector conglomerate (+0.5%). More than other high-tech sector fell (-0.9%).

The world's largest publicly traded producer of tobacco Philip Morris International's market capitalization decreased by 4.2% after reported a quarterly profit was worse than analysts' forecasts due to falling sales in Europe.

At the close:

Dow 13,549 -8 -0.06%

Nasdaq 3,073 -31 -1.00%

S&P 500 1,457 -4 -0.27%

Market Focus

  • US nonfarm payrolls rise more than expected in July
  • Canada’s merchandise trade deficit widens in June
  • Canada unemployment rate falls to lowest level since October 2008
  • Canada Ivey PMI falls less than expected in July
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