Stocks in Europe, Asia Gain

Stocks in Europe and Asia climbed, sending the MSCI World Index higher for the first time in 10 days, on speculation the U.S. government will increase its control over Citigroup Inc., Bloomberg 2/23/2009 5:21:53 AM

Citigroup surged 24 percent in Germany after the Wall Street Journal said the bank is in talks with federal officials that may result in the government holding as much as 40 percent of its common stock. Barclays Plc and Hang Seng Bank Ltd., Hong Kong’s second-largest by assets, added more than 4 percent. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc climbed 15 percent after a person familiar with the situation said RBS plans to cut costs by more than 1 billion pounds ($1.44 billion) and split into two units.

The MSCI World Index increased 0.6 percent to 777.76 at 11:20 a.m. in London. The index of 23 developed countries lost 12 percent in the previous nine days as companies from Anglo American Plc to Cie. de Saint-Gobain SA indicated the recession is worsening.

Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index gained 0.7 percent as Vodafone Group Plc advanced. The regional gauge and the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the U.S. closed at six-year lows last week.

The Stoxx 600 has retreated 51 percent since the start of last year as 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.