Asian Stocks Extend Global Rally

Asian stocks rose, extending a rally that has driven the MSCI World Index to a five-week high, on optimism the U.S. Treasury’s plan to remove banks’ toxic assets will revive economic growth., Bloomberg 3/24/2009 5:57:38 AM

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s biggest publicly traded bank, climbed 4.5 percent after the U.S. said it will buy as much as $1 trillion of banks’ distressed assets. Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., South Korea’s largest builder, jumped 7.1 percent after the government announced a record stimulus package. Toyota Motor Corp., which gets 37 percent of its sales from North America, gained 3.6 percent in Tokyo after the yen weakened against the dollar.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 1.8 percent to 83.75 at 7:16 p.m. in Tokyo, adding to a 3.4 percent gain yesterday. The gauge has rallied 19 percent from a five-year low on March 9 amid speculation the worst of the financial crisis is over. The MSCI World rose 0.3 percent to 832.89, the highest since Feb. 13.

The value of global equities has jumped more than $5 trillion in the latest rally. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 3.3 percent, extending its gain from a 26-year low on March 10 to 20 percent, the level indicating stocks have entered a bull market. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 3.4 percent, taking its surge since March 9 to 23 percent. All markets advanced except Malaysia.