Yen rallies on G-7 comments while U.S., Europe stocks advance

G-7 Confusion

G-7 finance ministers and central-bank governors said in the earlier statement released in London, “we reaffirm that our fiscal and monetary policies have been and will remain oriented towards meeting our respective domestic objectives using domestic instruments, and that we will not target exchange rates.” They will join officials from the G-20, which includes the G-7 and emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India, in Moscow on Feb. 15-16.

The yen pared gains after a U.K. official said the G-7 statement on exchange rates today is not about an individual country or currency. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

“Officially, the most important countries are not singling out Japan,” Douglas Borthwick, a managing director and head of foreign exchange at Chapdelaine FX in New York, said in a telephone interview. “People understand that if anyone’s going to have their feet to the fire right now in terms of currency weakness, it’s going to be Japan. But it’s very hard for most countries to throw stones because they’re all living in glass houses.”

Among U.S. stocks, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. rallied after raising its forecast in anticipation of a jump in same-store sales. Avon Products Inc. jumped as adjusted profit topped analysts’ estimates.

Facebook Inc. sank as Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. cut its recommendation. Coca-Cola Co. slipped after global volume sales missed analysts’ estimates.

Earnings Season

Earnings have exceeded the average analyst estimate at about 74% of the 354 companies in the S&P 500 that released results so far in the earnings season, and 66% have beaten sales estimates, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The S&P 500 has rallied almost 7% in 2013 as U.S. lawmakers reached a budget compromise. The gauge is about 3%  below its record reached in October 2007. The index has more than doubled since bottoming in March 2009 as the Federal Reserve conducted three rounds of bond-buying to lower interest rates and boost economic growth.

Obama tonight will propose spending on infrastructure, clean energy and education, according to an administration official briefed on the speech. His argument, directed at congressional Republicans amid a battle over fiscal policy, is that fostering economic growth is the best strategy to narrow a federal budget gap that has exceeded $1 trillion in each of the last four years.

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