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HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- Japanese stocks jumped in early trading Friday to recover some of the steep losses suffered in the previous session, with exporters aided as the U.S. dollar climbed above Yen101 after a slew of monthly economic data.

 

The Nikkei Stock Average gained 1.9% to 13,847.64 a day after it plunged by 5.2%, while the broader Topix rose 1%.

 

The gains were steady after the sharp volatility seen recently amid concerns over an increase in Japanese government bond yields and a firmer yen.

 

"We think the recent plunge in [the] Nikkei is the result of the sharp appreciation in the yen and expect it to reverse," said ING Financial Markets Research economist Sakpal Prakash.

 

He said the Bank of Japan 's accommodative policies are expected to lift the dollar to Yen110 by the end of the year, and to Yen115 by the end of 2014.

 

At its current level, the Nikkei Average is off 0.2% so far in May after rising for nine straight months.

 

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.5% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.1%.

 

Taiwan's Taiex advanced 0.7%, and the Shanghai Composite Index inched up 0.1%, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 0.2%, swinging off modest initial gains.

 

The broad advances came as stocks on Wall Street rose overnight on signs of further improvement in the U.S. housing market, while weaker-than-expected data on first-quarter economic growth and jobless claims raised hopes the Federal Reserve may keep its current level of bond purchases.

 

"Every U.S. data point about the pace of economic growth is being closely examined by market followers after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that the central bank could pare back its stimulus efforts should the U.S. economy continue to improve," said Perpetual head of investment-market research Matthew Sherwood.

 

"The Fed needs to improve its communication with the market about what its intentions truly are, but the stimulus is only likely to be reduced, not reversed," he said.

 

Stock movers

 

In Japan, the rebound followed data showing April core consumer prices rose 0.3% from March, although they were 0.4% lower from the year-ago month.

 

Japanese industrial production during the same month rose 1.7% from a year earlier, but a survey indicated lingering pessimism, with manufacturers tipping flat output for May and a 1.4% drop in June.

 

Among the notable gainers in Tokyo, Sony Corp. (SNE) jumped 4% after several reports said the company has tapped Morgan Stanley and Citigroup to help sound out options for its entertainment business. The reports came after billionaire hedge-fund manager Daniel Loeb called on the electronics major to spin off its entertainment business.

 

Several other exporters also advanced even as the U.S. dollar (USDJPY) straddled the Yen101 level.

 

Shares of Fanuc Corp. (FANUY) rallied 4.4%, and Kyocera Corp. (KYO) added 2.5%.

 

Fast Retailing Co. (FRCOY) gained 2.4% after plunging 11% in the previous session.

 

Financial stocks also rebounded after recent losses, with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (SMFJY) rising 1.6%, and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (MTU) adding 0.8%.

 

In Sydney trade, a retreat in some banks countered gains in mining stocks. Shares of Evolution Mining Ltd. (CAHPF) leaped 5.1% and Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCMGY) was ahead by 1.1% after an overnight improvement in gold prices.

 

In the broader mining space, BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) rose 1.5%, and Rio Tinto Ltd. (RIO) advanced 2.4%.

 

But heavyweight Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBAUY) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (NABZY) gave up early gains amid further selling pressure on high dividend-paying stocks ahead of the weekend. The stocks fell 0.5% and 1%, respectively.

 

Hong Kong stocks fluctuated between gains and losses in choppy early trading, with heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC) and some property developers climbing on positive cues from the U.S.

 

But mainland Chinese banks and insurance companies fell on caution ahead of the release of the monthly Purchasing Managers' Index data. An official PMI gauge for May was due out Saturday, while a final reading of a separately compiled PMI from HSBC and Markit was scheduled for Monday.

 

HSBC rose 1.1%, China Resources Land Ltd. (CRBJF) gained 0.6%, and casino operator Sands China Ltd. (SCHYY) advanced 2.2%.

 

But shares of China Construction Bank Corp. (CICHY) lost 1.1%, and China Life Insurance Co. (LFC) declined 1%,weighing the broader market.

NEW YORK--Crude-oil futures settled higher in a volatile session Thursday, lifted by an uptick in gasoline demand and a drop in U.S. inventories of the fuel ahead of the summer driving season.

 

Gasoline demand last week climbed to its highest level since August, the Energy Information Administration said in a weekly report. Traders largely shrugged off the agency's reading on oil inventories, which showed stockpiles shot to their highest level in 82 years.

 

"Guys were pretty encouraged by the gasoline number, and it is gasoline season," said Peter Donovan, vice president of Vantage Trading, an oil options brokerage in New York. "Forget about the crude, forget about the [heating oil] for a minute. Just look at the gas number."

 

Light, sweet crude for July delivery settled 48 cents, or 0.5%, higher at $93.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange fell 25 cents, or 0.2%, to $102.18 a barrel.

 

The EIA reported gasoline stockpiles last week fell by 1.5 million barrels--well above the 200,000-barrel decline forecast by analysts in a Dow Jones Newswires survey.

 

Gasoline futures shot higher after the report, with the front-month June contract settling 0.94 cent, or 0.3%, higher at $2.8125 a gallon.

 

Oil stockpiles, meanwhile, rose by 3 million barrels to the highest level since May 1931, according to the EIA. Previously crude stockpiles had been hovering near their highest level since 1981. But the latest gain put stocks at their highest level for 82 years, according to the EIA.

 

Such a sizeable rise would normally be a weight on oil prices, but the figure failed to roil the market. Traders say they were more focused on the gasoline figure, while the year-on-year surplus of oil inventories has been shrinking recently.

 

Distillate stockpiles, including heating oil and diesel, rose 400,000 barrels last week, while refinery runs fell 0.9 percentage point to 86.4% of capacity.

 

Analysts had forecast a 400,000 barrel drop in oil inventories and a 200,000 barrel rise in distillate stocks. Refinery runs were seen rising 0.4 percentage point.

 

Oil futures have been caught in a tight range between $90 and $97 a barrel for most of May, as tepid economic growth in much of the world has kept prices in check while Middle East tensions keep a floor under prices.

 

On Friday, oil market watchers will shift their attention to Vienna, where a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was underway. Ali al-Naimi, oil minister of Saudi Arabia, signaled approval of current oil prices, a sign that ministers won't change output policy at their Friday meeting in Vienna.

 

Dominick Chirichella, analyst at the Energy Management Institute in New York, said he wouldn't be surprised if the cartel winds up modestly cutting output. The group has been marred by a split between Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest exporter, and smaller members who want higher oil prices and are concerned about losing their clout because of surging North American oil production.

 

"The general consensus is that everyone's expecting a rollover agreement," he said. "They might make a token cut, just to let everyone know they're still there."

 

June heating oil settled 2.64 cents, or 0.9%, lower at $2.8431 a gallon.

 

More information on settlements and highs and lows for futures on Nymex and ICE platforms can be found by searching for the following headlines:

 

   Nymex Light Crude Oil Close 

   Nymex Harbor RBOB Gasoline Close 

   Nymex Heating Oil Close 

   ICE Brent Crude Oil Close 

   ICE Gas Oil Close 

NBG: Shares resume trading

Written by Monday, 26 November 2012 11:56

NBG shares will resume trading today following a 4-day suspension to accommodate the 1 for 10 share reverse split. Shares will begin trading ex-rights at EUR 4.53 per share. The rights price as per the exchange will begin trading at EUR 4.45. 

NBG is undertaking a EUR 1,170mn equity offering through a 2.2 for 1 rights issue at EUR 4.29. 

The remaining amount to cover the total EUR 9,756mn capital requirement will be covered by the HFSF. Rights will begin trading today as will the subscription period for the offering. 

The rights last trading day has been set for June 7th, while the subscription period will end June 13th. Finally, the new shares are expected to begin trading on June 25th. 

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