Retail stocks outperformed on Wall Street, which received a small boost from Japan’s efforts to break a cycle of slow growth with an increase in spending.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 1 percent, or 7.42 points, to 729.47, and Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.4 percent, or 55.76 points, to 14,606.11. Best Buy Co. led the retail index higher, gaining 16.1 percent to $25.13 after the retailer agreed to carve out some of its space for Samsung.
The day’s fashion industry gainers included Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., up 8 percent to $43.49; Quiksilver Inc., 4.9 percent to $6.45; J.C. Penney Co. Inc., 4.5 percent to $15.08, and Chico's FAS Inc., 3.4 percent to $17.73.
The Bank of Japan launched a major surprise stimulus package aimed at pushing inflation to 2 percent after years of deflation and slow growth.
The bank has vowed to increase its purchase of government bonds by 50 trillion yen, or $535.85 billion, per year. The move, by the bank’s new governor Haruhiko Kuroda, pushed the Nikkei 225 up 2.2 percent to close at 12,634.54.
The dollar and the euro rose more than 3 percent against the yen on Thursday after the announcement. The yen traded at $0.01 against the dollar and was worth 0.008 euros.
The euro traded at $1.28 against the dollar while the pound fetched $1.51 and the Swiss franc went for $1.05.
European stock markets edged down at the close of trading, as central banks in the region kept interest rates on ice and decided against more economic stimulus measures.
The FTSE 100 in London was down 1.2 percent to 6,344.12, as the CAC 40 in Paris fell 0.8 percent to 3,726.16, the DAX in Frankfurt declined 0.7 percent to 7,817.39 and the FTSE MIB in Milan slipped 0.3 percent to 15,154.02.
Retail and luxury stocks were also down, with the day’s biggest decliners including Brunello Cucinelli, which fell 2.5 percent to 16.35 euros; Compagnie Financière Richemont, 3.2 percent to 73.45 Swiss francs; Yoox, 2.5 percent to 14.45 euros; and L’Oreal, 2.5 percent to 124.10 euros.
Both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England kept their base interest rates stable, at 0.75 percent and at 0.5 percent, respectively. The Bank of England decided not to continue its quantitative easing stimulus plan, amid projections that the country will avoid a triple-dip recession.
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