Asian Stocks Advance

Asian stocks rallied the most in three weeks, led by banks and industrial companies, on speculation credit-market losses will ease and after crude oil prices retreated the most since March.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Macquarie Group Ltd. advanced after JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s chief executive officer Jamie Dimon said buyers are returning to some types of mortgage products. Korean Air Lines Co. climbed for the first time in 12 days as crude tumbled more than $5 a barrel. Komatsu Ltd., the world's second-largest maker of earthmovers, gained in Tokyo after Japan's machinery orders rose more than economists forecast.

The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index added 1.4 percent to 132.19 at 10:33 a.m. Tokyo time, set for its largest increase since June 16. The benchmark, which slumped to its lowest since November 2006 yesterday, has dropped 17 percent this year as record oil prices and credit-related losses offset efforts by central banks to bolster confidence in financial markets.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 1.3 percent to 13,197.59. Benchmark indexes advanced in all other markets open for trading.

U.S. stocks rallied yesterday, spurring the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to its largest gain in a month. Financial shares jumped after JPMorgan's Dimon said that the ``capital side of the crisis will ease'' and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank may extend its emergency-loan program for investment banks into next year.

Banks also rose after the regulator for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. mortgage-finance companies, said they have enough capital to survive a slump in the housing market and meet new accounting rules.

Asian Stocks Advance, Bloomberg
7/8/2008 8:40:53 PM