HSBC Holdings Plc and Societe Generale SA climbed more than 4 percent as President Barack Obama’s nominee treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, pledged an expanded and prolonged role in stabilizing banks. KBC Group NV soared 43 percent after getting a lifeline from the Flemish government. Fiat and Nokia slid more than 6 percent.
The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index slipped 0.2 percent to 184.15 at 1:51 p.m. in London, even as more than half of the measure’s stocks advanced. The gauge has dropped 7.1 percent this year as companies from Alcoa Inc. to Deutsche Bank AG and Intel Corp. fueled concern earnings will deteriorate as the global economic slump deepens.
Asian stocks rose for the first time in three days, led by financial and drug companies, on signs the U.S., Japan and China are stepping up efforts to ease the global financial crisis.
HSBC Holdings Plc, which gets a fifth of its revenue from North America, rose 3.6 percent in Hong Kong after U.S. Treasury Secretary-elect Timothy Geithner pledged dramatic” action to revive growth. North China Pharmaceutical Co. added 3.6 percent on government plans to increase healthcare spending. Mizuho Financial Group Inc. rose 1.4 percent after the Bank of Japan said it may buy corporate bonds to prevent a credit shortage.
Five stocks rose for every three that fell on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which gained 0.3 percent to 82.84 at 7:26 p.m. in Tokyo. The measure snapped a two-day, 2.8 percent drop. It’s declined 7.5 percent this year amid signs the economic turmoil is hurting profits.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 1.9 percent, while China’s CSI 300 Index gained 1.1 percent. All markets in the region rose except Pakistan.