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Japanese stocks gained, sending the Nikkei 225 Stock Average to almost a seven-month high, as Japan’s economy grew faster than expected and the euro strengthened against the yen.
Gross domestic product grew at an annualized 4.5 percent rate in the three months ended Sept. 30, faster than the 3.9 percent reported last month, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. The median forecast of 19 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 4.1 percent expansion.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s biggest publicly traded bank, rose 3.7 percent. Mitsui Financial Group Inc. climbed 3.5 percent to 2,712 yen. Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Japan’s third-biggest bank, rose 2.9 percent to 141 yen. Nomura Holdings Inc., the nation’s biggest brokerage, climbed 3.9 percent. T&D Holdings Inc., a life insurer, jumped 4.4 percent. Honda Motor Co., a carmaker that gets about 80 percent of its sales abroad, advanced 1.6 percent. Fanuc Ltd., the nation’s largest maker of industrial robots, gained 1.2 percent as Japanese companies increased capital spending.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average formed a so-called golden cross, indicating the gauge may climb 11 percent back to this year’s April high within the next quarter, according to Nomura Holdings Inc.
Nikkei’s 25-day moving average surpassed the 200-day moving average today to form a golden cross, which is considered by chart watchers to be a bullish signal.
European stocks rose to a two-year high, led by financial shares, as reports reassured investors that the global economic recovery is intact.
Societe Generale SA and Barclays Plc paced a rally in banks. ASML Holding NV advanced 8.2 percent after the company raised its forecast for bookings in the fourth quarter. BG Group Plc rose to the highest in 2 1/2 years after saying it will get about 600 million barrels of oil from initial operations at Brazil’s Tupi and Guara fields. Volkswagen AG led carmakers lower as China said it may end tax incentives for buying passenger cars next year.
The Bank of England kept its emergency stimulus program unchanged after recent data suggested the economy may be strong enough to weather government spending cuts, undermining the case for more aid. The bank also kept its main interest rate at a record low of 0.5 percent.
U.S. stocks swung between gains and losses as investor optimism after a bigger-than-projected drop in jobless claims offset Democratic opposition to President Barack Obama’s tax-cut agreement with Republicans.
American International Group Inc. soared 11 percent as the Treasury said it will dispose of its stake “as quickly as practicable.” Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. jumped 9.6 percent as Bank of America Corp. raised its rating. DuPont Co. slid 1.9 percent as the bottom end of its 2011 earnings forecast trailed analyst estimates. Airgas Inc. slumped 5.8 percent after Air Products & Chemicals Inc. raised its bid to $70 a share, less than what the company desired.
Three stocks gained for every two that fell on U.S. exchanges. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.2 percent to 1,230.67 at 2:57 p.m. in New York, reversing an earlier drop. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 24.79 points, or 0.2 percent, to 11,347.69.
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