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Asian Stocks, European Futures Rise on Economy; Oil Gains

Published: March 19, 2012 | 9:15 am
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The yen climbed against all its major peers, while European stocks retreated and oil erased gains. Hong Kong stocks slumped, led by raw-material producers.
The yen rose 0.3 percent to 83.15 against the dollar as of 8:06 a.m. in London. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) slipped 0.2 percent and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures lost 0.1 percent. The Hang Seng Index retreated 1 percent. Ten-year Treasury yields fell three basis points to 2.26 percent. Oil slid 0.2 percent after earlier rising as much as 0.4 percent.

South Korean department-store sales rose and consumer confidence in New Zealand improved, economic data showed. U.S. home sales and housing starts probably rose last month, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg before reports this week. Apple Inc. (AAPL) plans to discuss its $97.6 billion in cash and investments on a call today. Credit-default swaps dealers will hold an auction to settle as much as $3.2 billion of Greek bond insurance triggered by a debt restructuring.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.1 percent to its highest closing level since the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, which left 19,000 people dead or missing. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.3 percent and South Korea’s Kospi Index increased 0.6 percent. The MSCI Asia-Pacific gauge climbed 0.8 percent last week, the 12th advance in three months.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index sank 1.6 percent. Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. slid 4.2 percent in Hong Kong. The nation’s biggest producer of the metal swung to a wider-than- estimated loss in the second half of 2011 and said it may also be unprofitable in the first quarter of this year.

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