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Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index heading for its biggest weekly advance in two months. Japanese shares rallied after a drop in consumer prices stoked speculation the Bank of Japan will add to monetary easing to beat deflation.
Nikkei 225 11,606.38 +47.02 +0.41%
Hang Seng 22,880.22 -140.05 -0.61%
S&P/ASX 200 5,086.13 -17.95 -0.35%
Shanghai Composite 2,359.51 -6.09 -0.26%
Mitsubishi Estate Co. jumped 6.1 percent, pacing gains among Japanese developers.
Sony Corp., the maker of Bravia televisions and PlayStation game consoles, rose 3.9 percent after selling a building in Tokyo for 111.1 billion yen ($1.2 billion).
Golden Agri-Resources Ltd. dropped 3.1 percent in Singapore after the world’s second-largest palm-oil producer reported fourth-quarter profit declined 93 percent.
European (SXXP) stocks declined, following nine months of gains for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, as measures of manufacturing in the U.K. and China dropped, while a report showed euro-area unemployment has climbed to a record.
The Stoxx 600 retreated 0.3 percent to 289.02 at the close in London, paring an earlier slide of as much as 1.1 percent.
China’s manufacturing growth unexpectedly slowed last month. The country’s official purchasing managers’ index slipped to 50.1 in February from 50.4 in January, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said today in Beijing. The reading compared with the 50.5 median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 31 economists. A number above 50 means that activity increased.
European stocks pared their decline after the Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. factory index increased to 54.2 last month from 53.1 a month earlier. Economists had projected the gauge would decline to 52.5, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.
National benchmark indexes dropped in 11 of the 18 western- European markets.
FTSE 100 6,378.6 +17.79 +0.28% CAC 40 3,699.91 -23.09 -0.62% DAX 7,708.16 -33.54 -0.43%
Rio Tinto retreated 2.8 percent to 3,442 pence as a gauge of mining companies posted the largest decline of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600.
Kazakhmys Plc (KAZ) slumped 4.7 percent to 590 pence. Liberum Capital Ltd. downgraded Kazakhstan’s biggest copper producer to hold from buy, citing higher unit costs at its businesses.
Glencore International Plc (GLEN) dropped 2.7 percent to 377 pence. The largest publicly traded commodities supplier said it will miss its March 15 deadline to complete the $33 billion takeover of Xstrata Plc. Glencore said that it needs approval from China before it can conclude the deal. Xstrata slid 3.1 percent to 1,127 pence.
Belgacom plunged 5.6 percent to 20.21 euros after Belgium’s largest phone company forecast earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 1.69 billion euros ($2.2 billion) to 1.73 billion euros for 2013. The average analyst estimate had predicted Ebitda of 1.75 billion euros this year.
Vopak tumbled 11 percent to 48.90 euros, falling the most since November 2008. The world’s largest oil and chemical storage company reported an 8.5 percent drop in full-year operating profit to 536 million euros.
Deutsche Bank AG lost 4.3 percent to 33.57 euros. Germany’s largest bank was downgraded to sell from neutral at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
U.S. stocks rose, erasing earlier losses in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as better-than- estimated data on consumer confidence and manufacturing offset concerns about federal spending cuts. For the week DOW index rose 0,53%, Nasdaq rose 0,17%, S&P gained 0.05%.
“The sequester panic, if this was 18 months ago, we could have seen multi-hundred point swings in the market,” Kevin Divney, chief investment officer at Beaconcrest Capital Management in Boston, said in a phone interview. “What has happened is that the policy makers have lost credibility with the stock market.”
President Barack Obama met with congressional leaders today as no one predicted a breakthrough to avert $85 billion in federal spending cuts set to start before midnight. Democrats and Republicans are in a standoff over how to replace the cuts totaling $1.2 trillion over nine years. Obama said the spending cuts will cause “ripple effects” throughout the economy and jobs will be lost.
American factories expanded in February at the fastest pace in almost two years. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 54.2, the highest reading since June 2011, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today.
Consumer spending in the U.S. rose in January even as incomes dropped by the most in 20 years, showing households were weathering the payroll-tax increase by socking away less money in the bank. Outside the U.S., data showed China’s manufacturing slowed for a second month while factory output in the euro area contracted for the 19th straight month.
“A couple economic data points are reminding the market that the sequestration is an issue,” Andres Garcia-Amaya, New York-based global market strategist at JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s mutual funds unit, which oversees $400 billion in assets, said in a phone interview. “It’s an issue that was known, but the underlying fundamental data continued to improve slightly.”
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said the Fed should press on with $85 billion in monthly bond buying, warning that a premature withdrawal of stimulus risks hobbling the recovery.
“We need to be careful not to undermine our own policies and remove accommodation prematurely, as the Japanese did,” Evans said yesterday in a speech in Des Moines, Iowa.
Most components of DOW index closed in plus (18 of 30). Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT, +1.51%) advanced more than other components. Shares of Alcoa, Inc. (AA, -1.12%) fell more than other components
Sectors of the S&P closed trading mixed. Most growts showed healthcare sector (+0.5%). Most fell showed sector of conglomerates (-0.8%).
On result of yesterdays session:
Dow +35.17 14,089.66 +0.25%
Nasdaq +9.55 3,169.74 +0.30%
S&P +3.53 1,518.21 +0.23%
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