Stocks in Europe, Asia Rise

Stocks gained for a third day in Europe and Asia as France said it will invest $14 billion in banks and the U.S. moved toward a second stimulus package.

Societe Generale SA and BNP Paribas SA climbed more than 8 percent as the French government said it will buy subordinated debt issued by the country's six biggest banks. ABB Ltd. jumped 4.5 percent and CRH Plc rose 7 percent after the Bush administration withdrew its opposition to the idea of a new stimulus. Money-market rates declined in Europe.

The MSCI World Index added 0.4 percent to 993.34 at 12:37 p.m. in London. The gauge jumped 4.4 percent last week, its biggest gain on record, as governments injected $2 trillion to bail out banks and stabilize the financial system.

Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index advanced 0.3 percent, headed for its longest winning streak since August. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index jumped 2.1 percent, having its longest streak of gains in three month.

Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped 1.5 percent.

U.K. stocks rose for a third day, led by commodity producers after Xstrata Plc said its finances were ``robust'' and Tullow Oil Plc reported ``success'' at a Uganda exploration well. The FTSE 100 Index rallied 46.24, or 1.1 percent, to 4,328.91 at 11.54 a.m. in London as almost four stocks rose for everyone that fell.

Japan stocks climbed a third day on speculation stimulus plans will jump-start economic growth in the U.S. and at home, and as a rise in oil boosted resource shares. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average jumped 300.66, or 3.3 percent, to close at 9,306.25 in Tokyo, bringing its three-day gain to 10 percent.

Australia's benchmark stock index S&P/ASX 200 gained 160.2 points, or 3.87 percent, to 4,302.50.

India's benchmark stock index rose the most in more than a week on government efforts to unlock credit markets seized up by a tightening of global funds. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index, or Sensex, rose 460.30, or 4.5 percent, to 10,683.39, its biggest gain since Oct. 13.

China's stocks fell, driving the benchmark index to its first loss in three days, as financial companies and steelmakers declined on concern slowing economic growth will hurt profits. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated shares traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 15.33, or 0.8 percent, to 1,881.41 at the close, giving up a gain of as much as 1.7 percent.

Russia's benchmark stock index, the Micex Index, rose 4.24 percent to 652.97.,
10/21/2008 5:25:54 AM