Stocks Rise Worldwide

Stocks climbed, sending the MSCI World Index to the longest stretch of gains since 2006, as the Federal Reserve said it will buy $300 billion of government bonds to combat the first global recession since World War II., Bloomberg 3/19/2009 5:51:25 AM

The MSCI World advanced for an eighth day, led by banks and raw-material producers, the past year’s worst performers. Gains in Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures were limited after U.S. stocks closed at a one-month high yesterday as some investors questioned whether the Fed’s efforts will end the economic contraction. European government bonds soared, while U.S. Treasury notes fluctuated after surging the most in more than four decades yesterday. Copper, oil, wheat and soybeans rallied.

The MSCI World added 2.4 percent at 12:11 p.m. in London as UBS AG led a rally in banks, Xstrata Plc advanced with metals, and Hermes International SCA and Prudential Plc climbed on earnings that beat analysts’ estimates.

The gauge of 23 developed countries has surged 17 percent since March 9 as Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. said they made money during the first two months of 2009 and the Fed signaled its determination to avoid a repeat of the Great Depression.

Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index gained for the first time in three days, adding 1.8 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for a fifth day, climbing 2.9 percent. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Ltd., Japan’s biggest publicly traded lender, increased in Tokyo, where the central bank said it will buy more bonds from banks.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 26.21, or 0.3 percent, to 7,945.96 at the close of trading in Tokyo, reversing a 0.8 percent advance. The broader Topix index was little changed at 764.77, with 21 of its 33 industry groups advancing.