Asian stocks rose as the heads of Europe’s two biggest economies pledged to support banks amid a debt crisis that threatens global growth. At the weekend, Germany’s Merkel joined French President Nicolas Sarkozy in trying to persuade investors they can stamp out the debt crisis roiling global markets. At a joint press conference in Berlin, Sarkozy set a deadline of the Nov. 3 Group of 20 summit to deliver a response that addresses the immediate debt crisis in Greece, and what he called the structural defects in the 17-nation euro area. No details were provided.The MSCI Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Index gained 1 percent to 386.23 as of 6:56 p.m. in Hong Kong. About four stocks gained for every three that fell. The measure sank as much as 0.3 percent after Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index opened and Chinese equities resumed trade after a holiday. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.9 percent and South Korea’s Kospi Index added 0.4 percent. Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.Shares of Chinese companies fell on speculation the country will maintain tighter monetary policy. The Hang Seng Index closed little changed after reported that Chinese central bank adviser Zhou Qiren said the country should stick to a prudent monetary policy because small companies will have a better development environment only if inflation is thoroughly curbed. Separately, the official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday that China’s home prices will gradually ease because of rising inventories and a drop in property-market transactions.Samsung rose 1.6 percent to 874,000 won in Seoul. Hanjin Heavy surged 15 percent to 18,400 won. LG Display Co. jumped 6 percent to 21,250 won after Shinhan Investment Corp. said the world’s No. 2 maker of liquid-crystal displays would narrow its operating loss in the fourth quarter and return to profit in the second quarter of 2012.Li & Fung Ltd., the world’s biggest supplier of clothes and toys to retailers, gained 1.5 percent to HK$13.20 in Hong Kong, while in Sydney, Billabong International Ltd., a global surfwear maker, advanced 0.6 percent to A$3.65.Rio Tinto, the world’s No.2 mining company by sales, gained 1.5 percent to A$67.40. Australia’s biggest steelmakers also climbed, with BlueScope Ltd. advancing 3.1 percent to 84.5 Australian cents and OneSteel Ltd. rising 1.9 percent to A$1.34. Cnooc Ltd., China’s largest offshore oil explorer, added 2.8 percent to HK$13.20 in Hong Kong.Among property developers, China Overseas slipped 3.5 percent to HK$12.24. Agile Property Holdings Ltd., which develops land in Guangdong province, tumbled 8.8 percent to HK$5.47. Guangzhou R&F Properties Co., the biggest developer in the southern Chinese city, dropped 2 percent to HK$6.29.Some energy companies slumped in Hong Kong after China cut fuel prices for the first time this year. PetroChina Co., the country’s largest oil producer and Asia’s biggest company by market value, dropped 1.4 percent to HK$9.18. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., the refiner known as Sinopec, fell 4.4 percent to HK$7.16. Separately, China Petrochemical Corp., parent of Sinopec, agreed to buy Daylight Energy Ltd. for about C$2.2 billion ($2.1 billion) in cash to add oil and gas assets in Canada, the Calgary, Alberta-based company said yesterday in a statement.
European stocks advanced, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index posting its biggest four-day rally since November 2008, as the leaders of Germany and France gave themselves three weeks to create a plan to recapitalize banks. Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, racing to stamp out the sovereign-debt crisis that threatens to engulf the financial system, set an end-of-October deadline to devise a plan to recapitalize banks, get Greece on the right track and fix Europe’s economic governance.
FTSE 100 5,399 +95.60 +1.80%, CAC 40 3,161 +65.91 +2.13%, DAX 5,847 +171.59 +3.02%.
National benchmark indexes rose in 15 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index gained 1.8 percent. France’s CAC 40 Index climbed 2.1 percent and Germany’s DAX Index jumped 3 percent. All three gauges posted their biggest four-day rallies since 2008.
BP Plc contributed the most to the gauge’s advance. Premier Oil Plc rose 3.3 percent after HSBC Holdings Plc upgraded its shares. Erste Group Bank AG plunged 9.2 percent after saying it will post a full-year loss because of writedowns at its units in Hungary and Romania. Dexia dropped 4.7 percent after earlier falling as much as 36 percent when trading in the shares resumed.
Maurel rallied 5.5 percent to 13.42 euros. The company said it has found oil sandstones at a well at the Sabanero license in Colombia and oil samples taken have confirmed the field extension to the north east. In a statement, Maurel said it will drill three more wells in 2011 and 2012.
ABB Ltd., the world’s largest maker of power-transmission gear, added 3.5 percent to 16.99 Swiss francs. Jefferies Group Inc. raised its recommendation on the company’s shares to “buy” from “hold.”
Erste Group, eastern Europe’s second-biggest lender, slumped 9.2 percent to 18.80 euros. The bank said it will post a full-year loss of as much as 800 million euros ($1.1 billion) after writedowns at its Hungarian and Romanian units.
Raiffeisen Bank International AG, eastern Europe’s third- biggest lender, plunged 4.7 percent to 21.20 euros.U.S. stocks advanced, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 its biggest rally since August, after the leaders of France and Germany pledged a plan to support European banks and stem the region’s debt crisis.Dow 11,433.18 +330.06 +2.97%, Nasdaq 2,566.05 +86.70 +3.50%, S&P 500 1,194.89 +39.43 +3.41%All 10 groups in the S&P 500 advanced. The S&P 500 advanced 3.4 percent to 1,194.89 at 4 p.m. New York time. It had the biggest rally over five days since March 2009, gaining 8.7 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 330.06 points, or 3 percent, to 11,433.18. The Russell 2000 Index of small companies surged 4.4 percent. About 6.9 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges as of 4:27 p.m., the lowest volume since Aug. 2Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. added more than 5.2 percent. Chevron Corp. and Alcoa Inc. climbed at least 3.9 percent. Caterpillar Inc. and Boeing Co. increased more than 3.5 percent, pacing gains in companies most-tied to the economy. Sprint Nextel Corp. tumbled 7.9 percent as at least seven analysts cut their ratings after the carrier’s investor meeting.