Barefoot Investor: Euro, Oil Gain as Italy Moves to Cut Debt

Asian stocks (MXAP) rose as the euro and oil advanced after Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti introduced a proposal to cut his nation’s debt. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 0.2 percent as of 1:11 p.m. in Tokyo, adding to the 8 percent surge last week. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures gained 0.8 percent. The euro added 0.2 percent to $1.3416, while the yen fell against most of its 16 major counterparts. Oil climbed for a second day to $101.48 a barrel. The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index retreated 0.6 percent.

S&P 500 futures expiring in December climbed to 1,252.90. Treasuries fell, pushing the yield on the 10-year note up three basis points to 2.07 percent. Service industries in the U.S. probably expanded in November at the fastest pace in six months, a sign the economy is accelerating in the final months of 2011.

Uranium Exports

The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) has fallen for the past four weeks and tumbled 16 percent this year. A purchasing managers’ index of non-manufacturing industries for November fell to 49.7 from 57.7 the previous month, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said on Dec. 3. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

About the same number of stocks rose and fell in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 0.6 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.1 percent.

Energy Resources of Australia Ltd., a uranium producer controlled by Rio Tinto Group, rallied 11 percent for the biggest advance in the S&P/ASX 200. (AS51) Deep Yellow Ltd. (DYL), which explores for uranium, jumped 6.9 percent. Australia, holder of the world’s biggest uranium reserves, cleared a political hurdle to supplying India with the nuclear fuel after the governing Labor Party voted yesterday to end an export ban.

Asian Growth

The euro extended its first weekly climb against the dollar in more than a month. A proposal to channel European Central Bank loans through the International Monetary Fund may deliver as much as 200 billion euros ($268 billion) to fight the crisis.

Oil for January delivery rose as much as 0.8 percent to $101.73 a barrel. Iran said oil will breach $250 a barrel if nations threaten to ban its purchases. Iran pumped 5 percent of the world’s oil last year.

The cost of insuring Asia-Pacific corporate and sovereign bonds against non-payment declined. The Markit iTraxx Asia index of 40 investment-grade borrowers outside Japan fell 7 basis points to 195 basis points, Credit Agricole SA prices show. The benchmark is set for its lowest close since Nov. 8. (Bloomberg)


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