Stocks in Europe and Asia Advance

Stocks gained in Europe and Asia as Credit Agricole SA and Vinci SA reassured investors on the outlook for earnings and commodity shares rose after trading near their cheapest on record. U.S. index futures fell.

Credit Agricole advanced 5.1 percent after the bank posted better-than-expected profit, while Vinci, the world's biggest builder, climbed 5.8 percent on higher sales. BP Plc, Europe's second-largest oil company, jumped 7.5 percent, and BHP Billiton Ltd., the world's biggest mining company, rallied 4.6 percent.

The MSCI World Index added 1 percent to 903.04 at 1:36 p.m. in London, trimming this week's decline to 3.9 percent. Energy and mining stocks led gains among the 10 industry groups in the gauge for 23 developed countries.

The MSCI Europe Index rose 2.1 percent, limiting losses this week to 5 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1.2 percent.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures lost 1.6 percent after a report show sales at U.S. retailers fell in October by the most ever. Nordstrom Inc. and Kohl's Corp. cut their earnings forecasts as profit declined.

German stocks rose for a second day, led by Continental AG as Schaeffler Group reassured investors its acquisition of the car-parts maker will go ahead as planned. The benchmark DAX Index rallied 149.89, or 3.2 percent, to 4,799.41 as of 11:58 a.m. in Frankfurt, limiting this week's decline to 2.8 percent.

U.K. stocks rallied, led by energy producers, as investors speculated the recent rout in commodity shares is overdone. BP Plc, Europe's second-largest oil company, and Anglo American Plc gained. The benchmark FTSE 100 Index added 150.38, or 3.6 percent, to 4,319.59 at 12:25 p.m., trimming its decline this week to 1 percent.

Japan stocks climbed, easing a weekly drop, as investors snapped up shares near the cheapest valuations on record, the yen fell and expectations grew that a financial summit this weekend will produce policies to stabilize markets. he Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 223.75, or 2.7 percent, to close at 8,462.39 in Tokyo, after having risen as much as 5.5 percent.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 50.80 points, or 1.4 percent, to 3,748.10 at the close in Sydney, paring its weekly decline to 7.5 percent.

China's stocks rose, sending the benchmark index to its best week since April, after the government pledged higher spending on agriculture and on speculation the central bank may cut borrowing costs. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated A shares listed on China's two exchanges, climbed 69.57, or 3.7 percent, to 1,943.65 at the close.,
11/14/2008 5:47:28 AM