Stocks Climb in Europe, Asia

Stocks rallied in Europe and Asia as lower financing costs signaled central bank efforts were unlocking credit markets, while higher commodity prices lifted energy and mining companies. U.S. index futures fell.

Deutsche Bank AG, Axa SA and Nokia Oyj rallied more than 8 percent. BHP Billiton Ltd. climbed in Australia as copper advanced for a third day. Royal Dutch Shell Plc gained 6.4 percent as oil rose for the first time in four days. Daimler AG surged 19 percent after Merrill Lynch & Co. said the carmaker's shares were ``oversold'' after a 45 percent slump this month.

The MSCI World Index added 2.4 percent to 913.88 at 8:10 a.m. in London, with all 10 industry groups advancing.Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 gained 3.9 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 2.3 percent amid speculation Japan will cut interest rates and China take steps to boost equities. Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures slipped 2 percent today.

U.S. stocks climbed yesterday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its second-best point gain, as the lowest valuations in 23 years lured investors, while increased commercial paper sales and lower money-market rates signaled credit markets are thawing. The Federal Open Market Committee will announce its rate decision today.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 7.7 percent to 8,211.90. South Korea's Kospi Index plunged as much as 7.8 percent after the Herald Business newspaper said the nation was offered funds from the International Monetary Fund, then pared its losses to 3 percent after the government denied the report.

Australian stocks climbed, lifting the index from a four-year low, on speculation the global credit crunch will ease from a cut in U.S. interest rates later today, and after metal prices climbed for the second day. The S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 139.60 points, or 3.7 percent, to 3,933.80 as of 10:48 a.m. Sydney, after a five-day slump dragged it to its lowest close since Nov. 1, 2004.

China's stocks rose, sending the benchmark CSI 300 index higher for a second day, as speculation the government will introduce additional measures to bolster the equity market overshadowed concern profits will decline. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated stocks traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen, gained 25.14, or 1.5 percent, to 1,730.96 at the 11:30 a.m. local-time break, after swinging between gains and losses.

India Stocks Rise as Cairn India, Jindal Steel & Power Advance. The benchmark Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index, or Sensex, added 136.30, or 1.5 percent, to 9,144.38 as of 11:20 a.m. local time.,
10/29/2008 1:25:54 AM