Markets subdued amid slow trading
EUROPEAN stocks closed little changed as the European Central Bank and the Bank of England left their benchmark interest rates on hold.
Nobel Biocare slid 4.3 per cent as the healthcare company said a deteriorating Japanese market would hurt full-year profit.
ThyssenKrupp gained 2.3 per cent on a report that Korean steelmaker Posco submitted a letter of intent for its American unit. Halfords Group surged the most to date after saying earnings would be in the upper half of its forecast.
BMW rose 3.2 per cent to €59.76 after the German car-maker said group sales in China rose 59 per cent in September. Fiat gained 2.1 per cent to €4.44 and Daimler climbed 1.2 per cent to €38.51. Preferred shares of Volkswagen advanced 2.9 per cent to €145.35.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell less than 0.1 per cent to 271.33 at the close of trading, having fluctuated between gains and losses at least 20 times. The gauge has still climbed 11 per cent this year as ECB policymakers agreed on an unlimited asset-purchase programme to bring down borrowing costs in Spain and Italy.
US STOCKS rose, sending the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index higher for a fourth day, as reports on jobless claims and factory orders were better than forecast and the European Central Bank said it stands ready to buy bonds
Consol Energy, the largest US coal miner by market value, surged 5.5 per cent to $31.33. Peabody Energy gained 4.3 per cent to $22.74.
Among retailers, Gap gained 0.9 per cent to $37.09. Same-store sales at the biggest US specialty-apparel retailer climbed 6 per cent in September, beating the average estimate for a 5.3 per cent gain from analysts. Target added 1.1 per cent to $63.77. The second-largest US discounter posted a 2.1 per cent increase in same-store sales, topping the 2 per cent projection.
Ryder climbed 5.5 per cent to $41.35. The truck-leasing company’s efforts to lower costs would help earnings, Alexander Brand, an analyst with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, said in a note, raising the stock’s rating to buy from neutral.
Sprint Nextel lost 2.8 per cent to $5.06. – (Additional reporting Bloomberg/Reuters)