European Stocks Gain for Fourth Day

European stocks rose for a fourth day as falling bank lending rates and a bigger-than-forecast increase in German investor confidence added to speculation the worst of the economic slump may be over., Bloomberg 5/19/2009 9:18:16 AM

Deutsche Bank AG added 6.1 percent after people familiar with the matter said Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley applied to repay a combined $45 billion of government funds. BHP Billiton Ltd. and Anglo American Plc led gains among basic-resource companies as metals climbed.

Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index climbed 0.9 percent to 209.76 at 1:58 p.m. in London. The regional benchmark has surged 33 percent since March 9 as investors become more optimistic about the length and depth of the first global recession since World War II.

Asian stocks rose, pushing the MSCI Asia Pacific Index to a seven-month high, as U.S. banks sought to repay funds to the government and borrowing costs fell, stoking optimism the financial crisis is easing.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Ltd. gained 4.2 percent in Tokyo as the London interbank offered rate fell the most in two months and as people familiar with the plans said three U.S. banks applied to pay back funds. Toyota Motor Corp., which gets a third of its sales in North America, rose 3.4 percent as the yen weakened. PetroChina Co., the nation’s biggest oil producer, surged 5 percent in Hong Kong as oil prices rose a second day.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 2.5 percent to 99.26 at 7:24 p.m. in Tokyo, its highest since Oct. 6. Finance companies accounted for 35 percent of the increase. The gauge has climbed 41 percent from a more than five-year low on March 9.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 2.8 percent. India’s Sensitive Index added 0.1 percent. The gauge rallied 17 percent rally yesterday, triggering a trading halt, on speculation Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress party victory in nationwide elections will speed up economic reforms and lure overseas funds. All other markets rose except Pakistan.