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Sunday, 25 November 2012
Asia Stocks Rise on U.S. Spending While Euro Drops as Oil Slides
By Jason Clenfield and Adam Haigh - Nov 26, 2012 8:24 AM GMT+0400
Asian stocks rose for a fourth day as increased U.S. spending boosted prospects for exporters. The euro fell amid concern Spain may postpone asking for a bailout, while oil retreated.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) added 0.5 percent as of 12:50 p.m. in Tokyo. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slipped 0.3 percent after the gauge advanced 1.3 percent on Nov. 23. The euro dropped against most of its major peers, snapping a five day gain against the dollar. Oil declined 0.4 percent after rising last week for a third week.
A pedestrian looks at an electronic stock board outside a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
Pedestrians walk past the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg
Toyota Motor Corp. and other Japanese exporters advanced after data showed American shoppers spent 13 percent more during the Thanksgiving weekend. Pro-independence parties in Catalonia won a regional vote, strengthening a drive for a referendum on secession and sparking concern political uncertainty may force Spain to delay seeking aid. European finance chiefs meet today to try to negotiate a bailout payment for Greece.
“Conditions have improved,” said George Boubouras, the Melbourne-based head of investment strategy at UBS AG’s Australian wealth management unit. The Swiss bank has about $1.5 trillion under management. “The U.S. consumer is in better shape. Equity valuations remain compelling on so many different measures.”
More than two shares advanced for each that fell on the MSCIAsia Pacific Index, which is headed for its longest streak of gains since the second week of September. The gauge traded at 13.8 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 13.6 for the S&P 500 and 12.4 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
The Nikkei 225 (NKY) extended its biggest weekly gain since mid- October, with markets inJapan reopening from a three-day weekend. Toyota, Asia’s largest carmaker, advanced 2.3 percent in Tokyo, while Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. rose at least 1.6 percent.
Taiwan’s Taiex Index (TWSE) climbed 0.8 percent. Premier Sean Chen asked Minister Without Portfolio Kuan Chung-ming to prepare a proposal to boost stocks after the Taiex sank to a four-month low on Nov. 21, Cheng Li-wun, a Cabinet spokeswoman, said in an interview after domestic markets closed last week. The Cabinet plans to coordinate NT$300 billion ($10.3 billion) in funds to help revive equities, the Economic Daily News said today, without saying where it got the information.
Spending by American consumers rose to $59.1 billion in the four days through Nov. 25 from $52.4 billion last year, the National Retail Federation said in a statement. The 13 percent jump in total spending suggests some sales may have been pulled ahead from December and that retailers will have to keep up the promotions to avoid a lull.
Treasuries rose before a U.S. government report tomorrow forecast to show orders for durable goods fell in October, highlighting the uneven economic recovery. Ten-year yields declined two basis points, or 0.02 percentage points, to 1.68 percent, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data.
The euro weakened after a five-day gain versus the dollar. The single currency slipped 0.2 percent to $1.2957 from $1.2976 at the end of last week, when it reached $1.2991, the strongest since Oct. 31.
Catalan President Artur Mas, who called early elections to force a debate on independence, won 50 of the 135 seats in the regional assembly for his Convergencia i Unio party, down from 62, with 99 percent of the vote counted. The separatist Catalan Republican Left, known as the ERC, more than doubled its seats to 21 from 10. Two smaller parties that also back a plebiscite secured 16 seats.
Finance chiefs from the 17-member single currency return to Brussels today, less than a week after an all-night meeting failed to yield agreement and days after a European Union summit broke up without a proposed seven-year budget. At stake at the euro meeting is the continuation of a three-year mission to return Greece to financial health.
Demand for the yen was limited amid speculation a general election next month will hand power to the opposition party that advocates aggressive monetary stimulus by the Bank of Japan. A few members of the central bank’s policy board said the economy entered a recession, while one indicated the need for new ways to boost price expectations, minutes of an Oct. 30 meeting showed today.
The yen traded at 82.25 per dollar from 82.40 at the end of last week, when it completed a 1.3 percent, five-day decline. It touched 82.84 on Nov. 22, the weakest since April 4
Oil fell for the first time in three days as a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas held steady and Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi prepared to meet with the nation’s judiciary after protests against his new powers. The fuel was down 32 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $87.96 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after gaining 1 percent on Nov. 23. Prices have fallen 11 percent this year.