Global Stocks Climb

Stocks climbed worldwide, driving the MSCI World Index to its biggest two-day gain on record as the U.S. prepared to invest $125 billion in nine of its biggest banks, the latest step to avert a global financial meltdown.

Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Plc gained more than 7 percent in Europe. Societe Generale SA rallied 6.3 percent after posting a profit and saying it doesn't need more capital.

The MSCI World Index added 3.7 percent to 1,033.77 at 11:50 a.m., bringing its two-day advance to 14 percent, the most since records began in 1970. The U.S. investment in nine of the nation's biggest banks, including Citigroup and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. would come after France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Austria pledged 1.3 trillion euros ($1.8 trillion) to guarantee bank loans and take stakes in lenders.

European stocks
and U.S. index futures extended gains after money-market rates declined. The cost of borrowing in dollars for one week fell the most in almost a month, the British Bankers' Association said.

Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index climbed 5.6 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index surged 9.3 percent today, the most since 1998, with Japan's Nikkei jumping 14 percent as trading resumed following yesterday's public holiday.

National benchmarks advanced in all of the 18 western European markets except Iceland. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 climbed 6.1 percent as BHP Billiton Ltd. and Cadbury Plc gained. France's CAC 40 also jumped 6.1 percent as Total SA advanced. Germany's DAX rallied 5.5 percent.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures added 2.9 percent today, following yesterday's biggest rally in seven decades for the S&P 500.

The Stoxx 600 advanced 9.9 percent yesterday, clawing back more than a third of last week's 22 percent slump. The index has dropped 35 percent in 2008 as concern that frozen credit markets will trigger a recession erased about $28 trillion in value from global stock markets.

Japanese stocks rallied, driving the Nikkei 225 Stock Average to its biggest gain on record, as U.S. and European government plans to buy bank stakes boosted confidence that global financial markets will avoid collapse. The Nikkei climbed 14.2 percent, rebounding from the worst week in its 59-year history.

Australian stocks
gained for a second day, led by banks, energy and resources companies, on speculation U.S. measures to rescue the financial system will help revive the global economy. Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped 3.7 percent to 4,335.20 at the close in Sydney today, extending yesterday's 5.6 percent advance.

Indian stocks
rose, with the benchmark index climbing to its highest in a week, after U.S. and European governments agreed to buy stakes in their banks to re- energize credit markets and avert recession.  The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index, or Sensex, rose 174.31, or 1.5 percent, to 11,483.40, extending yesterday's 7.4 percent advance.

China's stocks
fell, with the benchmark index reversing gains in the last half hour of trading, led by steelmakers and brokerages on signs of slowing earnings. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated A shares listed on China's two exchanges, retreated 2.6 percent to 1,934.62 at the close, erasing an earlier gain of as much as 3.8 percent.

Russian stocks
surged, led by banks OAO Sberbank and VTB Group, as U.S. and European governments agreed to buy stakes in banks to avert a collapse in financial markets and bolster economic growth. The ruble-denominated Micex Index jumped 11 percent to 741.14, trimming its loss this year to 61 percent.,
10/14/2008 4:54:57 AM