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Asian stocks fell, paring the biggest rally in two weeks yesterday, on concern Cyprus’s bank- restructuring plan will be used for other European nations, imperiling depositors and bondholders, and on a report China is stepping up property curbs.
Nikkei 225 12,471.62 -74.84 -0.60%
Hang Seng 22,311.08 +59.93 +0.27%
S&P/ASX 200 4,950.25 -39.95 -0.80%
Shanghai Composite 2,297.67 -29.05 -1.25%
HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest lender, dropped 1.3 percent in Hong Kong.
Country Garden Holdings Co., the Chinese developer controlled by billionaire Yang Huiyan, decreased 1.7 percent on a report that banks have started to control the scale of loans for mainland real estate developments.
Softbank Corp., Japan’s third biggest wireless carrier, rose 2.5 percent as it will raise its stake in Gungho Online Entertainment Inc. to tap demand for mobile games.
European (SXXP) stocks advanced as better- than-estimated U.S. durable-goods orders and housing data helped offset concern euro-area lawmakers will impose losses on bank deposits in the region.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2 percent to 293.76 at 4:30 p.m. in London.
National benchmark indexes advanced in seven of the 18 western European markets today.
FTSE 100 6,399.37 +20.99 +0.33% CAC 40 3,748.64 +20.66 +0.55% DAX 7,879.67 +8.77 +0.11%
The Cyprus Stock Exchange remains closed for trading today and tomorrow as banks are closed, according to a statement on CSE’s website.
U.S. durable-goods orders rose in February by the most in five months, Commerce Department figures showed today. The 5.7 percent increase in bookings for goods meant to last at least three years followed a revised 3.8 percent drop in January. Economists had predicted 3.9 percent increase before the report.
Morrison advanced 3.5 percent to 276 pence after Citigroup Inc. upgraded the retailer to buy and lifted its price estimate for the shares to 325 pence from 280 pence.
Celesio added 4 percent to 14.50 euros after the Germany drug wholesaler said 2012 earnings exceeded its own target.
Bellway Plc rose 2.9 percent to 1,227 pence. The U.K. housebuilder said net income increased 51 percent in the six months ended Jan. 31 to 46 million pounds ($70 million) from a year earlier.
SBM Offshore NV rallied 3.6 percent to 13.34 euros. Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro SA awarded letters of intent for the lease of two floating production, storage and offloading units to the Dutch company. The projects will have a total value of $3.5 billion and will be operated by SBM’s joint venture with Queiroz Galvao Oleo e Gas SA and other partners.
EDF SA (EDF) advanced 2.4 percent to 15.31 euros after Morgan Stanley upgraded the shares to overweight, the equivalent of a buy recommendation, from equal weight. The brokerage said the shares are trading at a deep discount.
U.S. stocks rose, as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rebounded to within four points of its record, after orders for durable goods climbed more than forecast in February and home prices increased the most since June 2006.
Equities rose as residential real estate prices increased in January by the most since June 2006, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index released today. Orders for U.S. durable goods climbed more than forecast in February, propelled by automobiles and a rebound in commercial aircraft, a Commerce Department report showed.
Consumer confidence slumped more than forecast this month as Washington’s budget battle soured Americans’ views of the economic outlook. The consumer confidence index dropped to 59.7 from a revised three-month high of 68 in February, data from the New York-based Conference Board showed today. New-home sales declined 4.6 percent, worse than the 3.9 percent median estimate, another report showed.
The S&P 500 came within one point of its record 1,565.15 yesterday, before retreating as the bailout of Cyprus spurred concern bank deposits in other euro-area nations may be subject to levies to pay for rescues in the future. The benchmark gauge has gained 9.4 percent in 2013. The Dow reached an intraday record today after first surpassing its all-time high on March 5.
The bull market in equities entered its fifth year this month as the S&P 500 more than doubled from its bottom in 2009, driven by an unprecedented three rounds of bond purchases by the Federal Reserve.
Health-care companies, energy and consumer-staple shares advanced the most today, adding at least 0.7 percent. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, which measures the cost of using options as insurance against declines, fell 6.2 percent to 12.89.
Most components of DOW index closed in plus. Shares of Intel Corporation (INTC, +2.79%) advanced more than other components. Shares of Bank of America Corporation (BAC, -0.89%) fell more than other components
All sectors of the S&P closed in plus. Most rose showed sector of healthcare (+0.9%).
At the close:
Dow +110.24 14,557.99 +0.76%
Nasdaq +17.32 3,252.62 +0.54%S&P +12.02 1,563.71 +0.77%
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