Stocks reverse loss, commodities trim decline on budget optimism

Housing Data

Equities extended losses earlier after Commerce Department data showed purchases of new U.S. homes unexpectedly declined 0.3 percent to a 368,000 annual pace in October, showing limited progress in the housing market recovery.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.1 percent, trimming an earlier loss of as much as 0.6 percent. Swiss Life Holding AG, Switzerland’s biggest life insurer, slid 1.7 percent after saying it will write down the value of its German brokerage AWD Holding AG by 576 million francs ($618 million), hurting full- year profit.

OAO MegaFon, Russia’s second-largest mobile-phone operator, dropped 2 percent on its debut in London after raising $1.7 billion in the biggest initial offering by a Russian company in three years. Raiffeisen Bank International AG, eastern Europe’s second-biggest lender, sank 4.6 percent in Vienna as third- quarter profit missed analysts’ estimates.

The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell for a third day. Volatility in U.S. government debt dropped to the lowest in five years yesterday, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s MOVE index.

“The U.S. budget issue is posing the biggest uncertainty to the market now given that some data in the world’s largest economy have been showing signs of recovery,” said Kim Dae Young, a Seoul-based fund manager at KB Asset Management Co., which manages about $27 billion in assets.

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