European Stocks Fluctuate

European stocks fluctuated between gains and losses as concern a two-month equity rally is poised to wither overshadowed gains by oil and chemical producers., Bloomberg 5/20/2009 9:27:31 AM

Royal Dutch Shell Plc climbed as crude traded above $60 a barrel. K+S AG rose 7.7 percent as HSBC Holdings Plc recommended the shares. Air France-KLM Group jumped 10 percent after Europe’s biggest airline reported a narrower-than-estimated loss. Swedbank AB led a measure of European bank shares lower for the first time in five days, dropping 3.1 percent.

The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index was little changed at 210.72 as of 1:04 p.m. in London. The regional benchmark has advanced 33 percent from this year’s low on March 9 as speculation mounted that U.S. government measures to purchase illiquid assets from banks will pull the global economy out of recession.

 Asian shares rose, driving the MSCI Asia Pacific Index to a seven-month high, as oil traded above $60 a barrel and Goldman, Sachs & Co. said it was turning more positive on the transportation sector.

Mitsubishi Corp., a trading house that gets more than half its profit from commodities, climbed 5 percent in Tokyo as Goldman Sachs said stocks and commodity prices have bottomed. China Shipping Container Lines Co., the country’s No. 2 cargo- box carrier, jumped 4.7 percent in Hong Kong. Handset maker HTC Corp. surged 4.9 percent in Taipei on optimism it will benefit from increased sales in Japan.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.5 percent to 99.83 at 7:15 p.m. in Tokyo, the highest level since Oct. 6. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 0.6 percent even after a government report showed the nation’s economy shrank by a record last quarter, triggering a gain in the yen and dollar.

Markets in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, and Pakistan declined, while all others advanced.