Stocks in Europe, Asia Advance

Stocks in Europe and Asia rose, extending a global rally, as optimism that stimulus plans will boost the economy lifted retailers and automakers, while German investor confidence improved.

Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index added 0.6 percent to 203.86 at 1:03 p.m. in London as 15 of 19 industry groups advanced. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 0.8 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures expiring this month rose 0.1 percent, indicating the S&P 500 may extend its gain from last month’s 11-year low as governments and policy makers step up efforts to revive growth.

The MSCI World Index has climbed 16 percent since Nov. 20 as governments from the U.S. to India announced stimulus plans to buoy the global economy and prevent earnings from tumbling. President-elect Barack Obama is planning the biggest public-works spending package since the 1950s. The S&P 500’s 3.8 percent rally yesterday extended a rebound to 21 percent from last month, marking a technical end to the 13-month bear market.

Japan stocks rose on speculation global stimulus plans will increase demand for commodities, overshadowing a greater-than-estimated slump in Japan’s economy. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 66.82, or 0.8 percent, to close at 8,395.87 in Tokyo, paring an early gain of 2.1 percent.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 27.30 points, or 0.8 percent, to 3,604.30 at the close in Sydney, after climbing earlier as much as 0.7 percent.

China’s stocks fell, snapping a six- day winning streak, as China Vanke Co.’s property sales tumbled and a central bank adviser said the nation’s exports contracted. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated A shares listed on China’s two exchanges, declined 54.19, or 2.6 percent, to 2,040.85 at the close, snapping a six-day, 15 percent rally.,
12/9/2008 5:55:51 AM