Asian Stocks Pare Biggest Monthly Gain Since September 2013

Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index paring its biggest monthly advance since September 2013, as consumer shares led declines.

Woolworths Ltd. plunged 9.5 percent in Sydney after the supermarket chain cut its profit forecast. Noble Group Ltd. tumbled 7.1 percent in Singapore after the commodities trader reported its first quarterly loss in more than three years amid allegations of accounting malpractice. Nexon Co. surged 9.7 percent in Tokyo after the online game distributor said it’ll buy back 10 billion yen ($ 84 million) in shares. Casino stocks rebounded, with Sands China Ltd. rising 2.3 percent in Hong Kong after dropping 13 percent the past four days.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.1 percent to 146.25 as of 4:41 p.m. in Hong Kong. The gauge is on track for a 4.2 percent gain this month and a 0.9 percent weekly advance after Greece and its creditors this week brokered a deal to extend bailout funding for four months and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen damped concerns of an imminent rate increase.

The regional benchmark index traded at 14.6 times estimated earnings at the last close, the highest since March 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with 17.8 times for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Source : Bloomberg

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U.S. Stocks Little Changed as S&P 500 Heads for Monthly Advance

U.S. stocks were little changed, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index heading for the biggest monthly gain since 2011, as the economy expanded at a slower pace in the fourth quarter than previously reported.

The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 percent to 2,110.13 at 9:33 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 20.84 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,193.58. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost less than 0.1 percent.

Gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced, rose at a 2.2 percent annualized rate, down from an initial estimate of 2.6 percent, Commerce Department figures showed. The median forecast of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 2 percent pace.

Source : Bloomberg

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