Stocks in Europe, Asia Climb

Stocks in Europe and Asia advanced, sending the MSCI World Index higher for the first time in four days, on speculation governments will expand efforts to revive the economy., Bloomberg 2/13/2009 5:52:05 AM

Barclays Plc, the U.K.’s third-biggest bank, and Credit Suisse Group AG increased more than 4.5 percent amid optimism that the White House will help mortgage borrowers. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. jumped 9 percent in Sydney as the country’s senate passed a $28 billion stimulus package. ThyssenKrupp AG rallied 3.8 percent after Germany’s largest steelmaker posted earnings that beat analysts’ estimates.

The MSCI World added 0.7 percent to 843.92 at 1:25 p.m. in London. The gauge of 23 developed markets has lost 3.1 percent this week as companies from Electricite de France SA to Diageo Plc posted disappointing results.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for the first time in five days, adding 1 percent. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index gained 1.5 percent, led by Air France-KLM Group, Michelin & Cie. and Pernod Ricard SA, as all 19 industry groups advanced.

The Stoxx 600 is still down 2.6 percent this week, poised for its first weekly loss since Jan. 23. Europe’s economy contracted 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, the most in at least 13 years, compounding pressure on the European Central Bank to reduce interest rates next month.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 1 percent to 7,779.40, cutting its drop in the week to 3.7 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 2.5 percent. All benchmark indexes in the region advanced except the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.