Asian Stocks Gain for Second Day

Asian stocks surged, driving Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average to its biggest gain in 18 years, after the U.S. and European governments agreed to buy stakes in banks.

U.S. futures rose and the dollar advanced against the yen, while Treasuries fell.

The Nikkei jumped 12.3 percent, rebounding from its worst week on record. Japanese markets were shut for a holiday yesterday. Sony Corp., Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. and Toyota Motor Corp. all soared more than 14 percent. National Australia Bank Ltd. added 9.6 percent in Sydney and Woori Finance Holdings Co. rose 11 percent in Seoul as people briefed on the matter said the U.S. will buy stakes in nine banks.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 6.7 percent to 94.61 as of 10:11 a.m. in Tokyo, poised for its biggest advance since 1998. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 5.9 percent, the most since October 1997, and extending yesterday's 5.5 percent climb. South Korea's Kospi Index jumped 5.6 percent, bringing its two-day gain to 9.5 percent.

U.S. stocks
staged the largest rally yesterday in seven decades. The S&P 500 added 104.48, or 11.6 percent, to 103.7 at close The Dow increased 937.7, or 11.1 percent, to 9,388.89, eclipsing its previous record 499-point gain in March 2000. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 194.74, or 11.8 percent, to 1,844.25. Eight stocks gained for each that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. S&P 500 futures gained 1.9 percent.,
10/13/2008 7:05:52 PM