European stocks gained for the second month amid optimism earnings will rise as economies recover. Royal Philips Electronics NV, Deutsche Bank AG and Aegon NV led the advance. \n"We are seeing good signs that the recovery is starting," said Carsten Gerlinger, who oversees 800 million euros (US$796 million) at DZ International in Luxembourg and is considering buying shares in Siemens AG and Vodafone Group Plc. The Dow Jones Stoxx 50 Index may add 10 percent before the year ends, he said. \nThe index rose 3.9 percent in November and had its first back-to-back monthly gains since November-December 2001. The 15 percent advance so far this quarter is the best two-month performance since the end of 1999. \nStocks were helped this week by surveys showing a gain in confidence among French manufacturers and UK consumers. Reports that manufacturing in the Chicago area rose in November and new claims for US unemployment benefits fell last week further fueled speculation that demand for products may be rising. \nEurope's 300 biggest companies generate about a fifth of their sales in the US. \nEarlier this month, companies including Kuoni Reisen Holding AG, Switzerland's largest travel company, and ABN Amro Holding NV, the largest Dutch bank, said cost cuts helped them beat analysts' forecasts. \nPhilips, Europe's largest maker of consumer electronics, surged 22 percent in November. Deutsche Bank, the region's biggest lender, gained 14 percent and Aegon, the second-largest Dutch insurer, climbed 19 percent. \nSome investors question whether there has been enough evidence of growth to justify recent share-price gains. \nThe Stoxx 50 declined 0.5 percent to 2,661.51, led by France Telecom SA and Munich Re as analysts cut their ratings. \n"Valuations are starting to look a bit high," said Stuart O'Gorman, who helps manage US$900 million in technology stocks at Henderson Global Investors. "You need quite a strong recovery to justify some of these prices." \nO'Gorman may cut his stock holdings if the equity market rally extends into next year. \nFrance Telecom, whose shares have more than doubled this quarter, slipped 4.3 percent to 18 euros. The former French monopoly was downgraded to "underweight" from "equal-weight" by Morgan Stanley, which called the current price "unreasonable." \n Munich Re shed 3.1 percent to 140 euros as UBS Warburg cut its rating to "hold" from "buy," arguing the stock has little room to gain. The shares have advanced 32 percent since the end of September. \nNokia Oyj dropped 2.3 percent to 19.40 euros, trimming its gain this quarter to 44 percent. The shares reached a seven-month high yesterday. Analysts' profit expectations for the world's largest handset maker may be too optimistic, according to a note today from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. \nThe Stoxx technology, insurance and telecommunications indexes have each surged more than a third since the end of September. \nABB Ltd and Cie. de Saint-Gobain SA rose today on optimism asbestos-related costs may be limited, as Fresenius Medical Care AG neared an agreement to settle US claims. \nFresenius Medical, the world's leading dialysis provider, climbed 24 percent to 42.98 euros after agreeing to settle asbestos claims in the US for US$15 million. \n"This is very good news -- we'd heard talk of sums as much as a billion euros," said Michael Kapler, who helps manage 13 billion euros in investments at Trinkaus Capital Management in Dusseldorf, Germany. \nFresenius, its parent company, climbed 25 percent to 44.50 euros. \nABB added 5.3 percent to 4.97 Swiss francs. Europe's largest electrical-engineering company has offered plaintiffs US$1.1 billion to settle about 111,000 asbestos-relating claims against a US unit.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion