Most Stocks in Europe Advance, Asian Stocks Gain

Most stocks in Europe rose and Asian stocks climbed, sending the MSCI World Index higher for the first time in eight days, as results from Nestle SA and BNP Paribas SA reassured investors and a weaker yen boosted the earnings prospects of Japanese automakers., Bloomberg 2/19/2009 5:47:35 AM

Nestle added 5.6 percent in Zurich on signals from the world’s biggest food company that sales growth will hold up better than some analysts expected. BNP Paribas gained 1.7 percent after Chief Executive Officer Baudouin Prot said he was confident” France’s largest bank will be profitable this year. Toyota Motor Corp., which makes 37 percent of its sales in North America, climbed 2 percent in Tokyo as the yen traded near its lowest this year against the dollar.

The MSCI World Index increased 0.6 percent to 796.42 at 1:10 p.m. in London. The gauge of 23 developed countries slid 9.8 percent in the previous seven days as companies from Electricite de France SA to Diageo Plc posted disappointing results and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner failed to convince investors that his plan to rescue U.S. banks will work.

About three stocks rose for every two that dropped in Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index, which added 0.2 percent as Technip SA rallied. The regional gauge slumped 7.4 percent this year after credit-related losses at financial firms worldwide climbed to $1.1 trillion and Europe, the U.S. and Japan fell into the first simultaneous recessions since World War II.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.6 percent. China will seek to boost domestic demand, increase financial input for the electronics and information-technology industries and maintain the level of export tax rebates for electronic products, the State Council said.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.3 percent to 7,557.65, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8 percent. Most benchmark indexes in the region advanced.