Europe Stocks Resume Rout as Shell Slide Adds to Global Concerns

European stocks resumed their losing streak after Tuesday’s rebound, as disappointing results from companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc exacerbated investor concern about global growth prospects.

Shell slid 3.7 percent after saying fourth-quarter profit plunged as the rout in crude prices deepened. BHP Billiton Ltd. dragged commodity producers to the worst performance on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, falling 5.7 percent after trimming its full-year iron ore output forecast. Zurich Insurance Group AG declined 6.8 percent after forecasting a second straight quarterly loss for its biggest unit.

The Stoxx 600 tumbled 2.3 percent to 325.25 at 8:12 a.m. in London. Concern over a slowdown in China and deepening oil losses have weighed on investor sentiment, dragging the Stoxx 600 into a bear market last week.

The European equity gauge climbed 1.3 percent on Tuesday, its biggest gain in three weeks, after data showed China’s economy grew at an annual pace just shy of a government target, while leaving open the possibility of further stimulus.

Among other stocks moving on corporate news today, Vinci SA lost 2.1 percent following a report that it has held talks to acquire Abengoa SA’s largest unit Abeinsa.

Source : Bloomberg

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Hong Kong Stocks Gain Further as China Adds Liquidity

Hong Kong stocks advanced Thursday morning, heading toward a third day of gains after China’s central bank injected 50 billion yuan ($ 8 billion) of liquidity into the markets.

The Hang Seng Index added 0.8%, with the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index up 1.1%. The People’s Bank of China has rolled over the maturing 269.5-billion-yuan Medium Lending Facility to banks and added an extra 50 billion yuan via the tool to cope with seasonally tight liquidity ahead of the Chinese New Year festival, the central bank said Wednesday night on its official Weibo account.

Major Chinese banks rose across the board, with Bank of China Ltd. gaining 1.6%, China Merchants Bank Co. adding 1.1%, Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. rising 1%, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. higher by 0.7%, and both China Construction Bank Corp. and China Citic Bank Corp. tacking on 0.9%.

Chinese online major Tencent Holdings Ltd. and telecoms giant China Mobile Ltd. helped boost the benchmark index, of which they are the top-weighted components along with HSBC Holdings PLC  Tencent improved by 2.3%, China Mobile moved 1.3% higher, and HSBC added 1.2%. Among other movers, China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co. rallied 5.7% after the insurer said it expected its net profit to more than double in 2014. Over on the mainland, the Shanghai COmposite Index edged up 0.2%.

Source: MarketWatch

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