Asian stocks surged, giving the regional benchmark index its biggest gain in five months, as U.S. auto sales rose from a 27-year low and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said economies are showing traction.”
Nissan Motor Co., which gets 41 percent of its sales in North America, soared as much as 21 percent, the most since 1974. HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest bank, rose 16 percent in Hong Kong as Geithner said ahead of the Group of 20 leaders meeting in London that there are encouraging signs” in markets. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia’s biggest oil refiner, climbed 6.2 percent as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recommended investors buy the stock.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index jumped 4.6 percent to 86.09, the steepest climb since Oct. 30, at 7:44 p.m. in Tokyo. The gauge has surged 22 percent since falling to the lowest in more than five years on March 9 amid speculation the worst of the financial crisis is over. A gain of 20 percent is the technical definition of stocks entering a bull market.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 4.4 percent to 8,719.78, the most since March 13. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 7.4 percent, erasing its declines for the year. South Korea’s Kospi Index rose 3.5 percent to the highest since Oct. 15. All markets in the region rose except Sri Lanka.