Stocks in Europe, Asia Gain

The MSCI world stock index snapped four weeks of losses to rally the most since November as Bank of America Corp. said it will be profitable this year and Japan and China pledged aid for their economies., Bloomberg 3/13/2009 5:39:59 AM

Barclays Plc and Credit Suisse Group AG rose more than 8 percent as Bank of America’s Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis said he expects the biggest U.S. bank to make money this year. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Ltd. added 5.8 percent as Japan’s Prime Minister Taro Aso ordered a third stimulus package. U.S. Treasuries fell after China’s Premier Wen Jiabao said he’s worried” about the country’s holdings of American government debt and wants assurances that the investment is safe.

The MSCI World Index of 23 developed nations climbed 1.6 percent at 11:21 a.m. in London as Bank of America joined JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. in saying that it made money during the first two months of 2009. The MSCI World’s 8.6 percent gain since March 6 erased only one week of losses, leaving the global gauge at the highest since Feb. 26.

Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index climbed 2.5 percent as BHP Billiton Ltd. and SAS Group jumped. The regional gauge has advanced 7.5 percent this week, led by financial and raw-material shares, as the Swiss central bank cut its interest rate to close to zero and China’s spending on factories increased.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 3.6 percent today, leaving it with a gain of 3.8 percent since March 6. Canon Inc., the world’s biggest camera maker, rose on a profit forecast. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 5.2 percent to 7569.28, the most since Dec. 15, 2008. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 4.4 percent.