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15.02.2013 08:23

Stocks: Thursday’s review

Asian stocks rose after the Bank of Japan maintained its asset purchasing program before its governor steps down next month amid speculation an unexpected contraction in Japan’s economy in the fourth quarter will boost efforts to end deflation.

Nikkei 225 11,307.28 +55.87 +0.50%

Hang Seng Closed

S&P/ASX 200 5,036.88 +33.22 +0.66%

Shanghai Composite Closed

Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. advanced 5.8 percent as the biggest beer maker in Japan by market share said it will buy back as much as 4.3 percent of its stock and forecast profit will rise 15 percent.

Alumina Ltd. soared 7.5 percent in Sydney after Citic Resources Holdings Ltd. agreed to buy a stake in the company for A$452 million ($468 million).

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. lost 2.2 percent as earnings declined on charges at its Australian and Philippine businesses.

Most European stocks declined as reports showed the economies of the euro area and Japan shrank in the fourth quarter, outweighing a decrease in American jobless claims.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 0.2 percent to 287.79 at the close, paring an earlier drop of as much as 0.6 percent, as releases showed the economies of Germany, France and Italy all contracted more than estimated.

Euro area gross domestic product fell 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said. That exceeded the 0.4 percent median estimate. The German economy, Europe’s largest, shrank 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, while French GDP fell 0.3 percent. Italy’s economy shrank 0.9 percent. All contractions exceeded the median forecasts of economists. In Japan, GDP dropped an annualized 0.4 percent, following a revised 3.8 percent decline in the previous quarter, the Cabinet Office said. The median forecast of economists called for 0.4 percent growth.

National benchmark indexes fell in 13 of the 18 western European markets.

FTSE 100 6,327.36 -31.75 -0.50% CAC 40 3,669.6 -28.93 -0.78% DAX 7,631.19 -80.70 -1.05%

Nestle dropped 2.3 percent to 63 Swiss francs. The company said its sales excluding acquisitions, disposals and currency changes increased 5.9 percent in 2012. That was less than the 6 percent average estimate of analysts.

Britvic Plc lost 7.1 percent to 390 pence, a 10-week low. The U.K. distributor of Pepsi was downgraded at Societe Generale SA, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Barclays Plc. A.G. Barr Plc called off its planned acquisition of Britvic yesterday after the Office of Fair Trading referred the deal to the Competition Commission.

Bankia SA, the lender recently ejected from Spain’s benchmark IBEX 35 Index, slumped 12 percent to 41 euro cents. The bank will convert bonds to equity at 1 euro cent per share as part of its reorganization, Expansion reported.

Renault advanced 7.7 percent to 46.50 euros, its biggest gain since September 2011. France’s second-largest carmaker said earnings before interest, taxes and one-time items totaled 729 million euros ($971.5 million). That beat the 698 million-euro average estimate.

ABB rose 5.6 percent to 20.81 francs, its biggest advance in 18 months, after reporting earnings that surpassed analyst estimates. The world’s largest maker of power transformers said it will continue to focus on cutting costs this year amid an uncertain economic outlook.

BNP Paribas SA gained 2 percent to 46.75 euros. The bank plans to reduce its annual cost base by 2 billion euros by 2015. BNP plans to increase its dividend to 1.50 euros a share from 1.20 euros a year earlier.

Indexes retreated from session lows, closed trading multidirectional dynamics

Futures for premarket snizhadis, indicating a negative start trading on the major U.S. stock exchanges. Today's film due to increased concerns about the situation in the European economy against the background of published data, which recorded a larger-than-expected decline in GDP in the region.

Decrease in the indices restricted better than expected data on the number of applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. (341 thousand vs. 361 thousand), as well as reports on mergers / acquisitions.

As for the latter, they are specific to companies HJ Heinz and American Airlines.

H.J. Heinz: Warren Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital bought sauces and ketchup manufacturer HJ Heinz for $ 28 billion, noted that an agreement has been signed, but the deal is subject to approval by shareholders Heinz, requires obtaining regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed in the 3rd quarter of 2013.

American Airlines: American Airlines Flight and US Airways merger agreement, in which you will create the world's largest air carrier (more than a thousand ships, about 6.5 thousand flights a day). The new company will retain the name American Airlines.

DOW index components show a mixed trend. More than the others fell in the share price The Coca-Cola Company (KO, -1.13%). Leader with shares in Alcoa, Inc. (AA, +2.80%).

Most sectors of the S & P showing a negative trend. Leading sector of consumer goods (+0.2%). Below is the rest of the sector and utilities (-0.8%).

At the close:

Dow -9.37 13,973.54 -0.07%

Nasdaq +1.78 3,198.66 +0.06%

S & P +1.06 1,521.39 +0.07%

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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