Most European Shares, Asian Stocks Gain

Most European shares gained and Asian stocks rallied as President George W. Bush signaled a decision on rescuing American carmakers would be swift, while higher crude prices lifted energy companies.

Daimler AG advanced 1.9 percent and Toyota Motor Corp. surged 9.8 percent as Bush said deliberations by his government on tapping the bank bailout fund to keep General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC out of bankruptcy won’t be a long process.” BP Plc climbed 1.4 percent on higher crude oil prices. BNP Paribas SA led bank shares lower in Europe as a Belgian court froze the lender’s plans to buy Fortis.

The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index added 0.1 percent to 198.44 at 1:02 p.m. in London as 13 of 19 industry groups increased. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index jumped 4.1 percent. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in March lost 0.4 percent.

The Stoxx 600 has rebounded 9 percent from a five-year low on Nov. 21 as governments and policy makers around the world announced packages to revive economic growth. U.S. President- elect Barack Obama said he is planning the most extensive public- works spending package since the 1950s.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 4.1 percent to 87.81 as of 7:25 p.m. in Tokyo. Almost eight stocks gained for each that declined, with all industry groups advancing. The MSCI index has rebounded 17 percent since falling to a five-year low on Oct. 27 as governments from Australia to the U.S. took steps to revive their economies.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 5.2 percent to 8,664.66, paring its annual loss to 43 percent. Today’s advance was led by Denso Corp. and Aisin Seiki Co., the Japanese auto parts suppliers that sell the most to Detroit carmakers, according to UBS AG.

China’s stocks lagged the region’s gains after industrial production grew at the weakest pace since Bloomberg began tracking the data in 1999 and money supply expanded at the slowest rate in more than three years. Pakistan’s Karachi 100 Index lost 4 percent after the regulator eased trading limits imposed on Aug. 27.,
12/15/2008 5:20:15 AM