Global Stocks Rally

Stocks rallied worldwide, led by commodity producers, after U.S. President-elect Barack Obama pledged the largest spending on infrastructure since the 1950s to revive the economy.

CRH Plc, the world’s second-biggest building materials maker, and Siemens AG jumped more than 4 percent in Europe as Obama said he’s planning the largest public works program since President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the interstate highway system.

General Motors Corp. surged 24 percent after U.S. lawmakers agreed in principle with the Bush administration on providing funds to prevent the collapse of GM and Chrysler LLC. BHP Billiton Ltd. rose 12 percent and Royal Dutch Shell Plc advanced 6.5 percent as copper and oil rebounded.

The MSCI World Index added 3.8 percent to 880.25 at 2:30 p.m. in London, with all 10 industry groups increasing more than 2 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index jumped 3.4 percent, and Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index gained 5.1 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 4.4 percent as India cut interest rates and unveiled a $4 billion stimulus plan.

Japan stocks surged, sending the Nikkei 225 Stock Average to the steepest jump in two weeks. The Nikkei climbed 411.54, or 5.2 percent, to 8,329.05 at the close in Tokyo, the biggest rally since Nov. 25.

Emerging-market stocks gained the most in five weeks, led by Russia and South Korea, as the largest U.S. spending plan for public works since the 1950s, interest-rate cuts in India and rising oil prices boosted investor confidence.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 6.2 percent to 527.43, the biggest increase since the U.S. and International Monetary Fund pledged to help developing nations overcome the credit crisis on Oct. 30. The index is at the highest in more than three weeks.

Russia’s 30-stock Micex Index pared gains of as much as 7.3 percent, staying 5 percent higher. The Kospi index in South Korea gained 7.5 percent to the highest in almost four weeks and stock benchmarks in the Czech Republic, Poland and Croatia increased more than 2 percent. The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index increased as much as 5 percent and China’s CSI 300 Index of stocks rose 4 percent.,
12/8/2008 6:46:58 AM