Stocks in Europe, Asia Climb

Stocks in Europe and Asia rose after this year’s biggest rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as a jump in Chinese factory spending lifted commodities shares and banks advanced., Bloomberg 3/11/2009 5:33:45 AM

Rio Tinto Group added 4.1 percent as China’s spending on factories and property surged 26.5 percent in the first two months of the year. Citigroup Inc. rose 12 percent in New York after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the Obama administration will use capital injections as an incentive to get banks to sell distressed securities to investors.

The MSCI World Index increased 0.7 percent at 11:23 a.m. in London, trimming its 2009 decline to 21 percent. The measure of 23 developed nations jumped 5.3 percent yesterday as Citigroup’s Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said the bank is having its best quarter since 2007.

Investors from New York to London this month grew more convinced stocks will extend their decline, with pessimism in the U.S. climbing to the highest since the S&P 500 entered a bear market in July. Participants in the Bloomberg Professional Global Confidence Survey predict losses in the next six months for the S&P 500, Brazil’s Bovespa, Mexico’s Bolsa, the U.K.’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX, the Swiss Market Index and Spain’s IBEX 35.

Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index increased 1.1 percent, reversing an earlier decline of 1.4 percent. The regional gauge had dropped as JCDecaux SA forecast its first annual sales decline and utilities slumped.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 2.7 percent to 73.20 as of 7:43 p.m. in Tokyo, the sharpest jump since Jan. 27, when markets surged on plans by Japan and Australia to support banks and revive growth. The gauge has slumped 18 percent this year, extending last year’s record 43 percent drop as the global recession decimated profits.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 4.6 percent from a 26-year low to close at 7,376.12. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 2 percent. Most markets in the region advanced.