Monday, January 5, 2009

European Stock-Index Futures Advance; Nokia, Philips May Gain

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- European stock-index futures and Asian shares advanced on speculation that government efforts to revive the global economy through tax cuts and spending will spur growth.

U.S.-traded securities of Nokia Oyj, the world’s biggest mobile-phone maker, and Royal Philips Electronics NV, Europe’s largest consumer-electronics maker, gained. BHP Billiton Ltd. led mining stocks higher in Asia after metals prices rose and officials said U.S. President-elect Barack Obama may reduce taxes by more than $300 billion.

Futures on the Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 Index, a benchmark for the euro region, added 0.9 percent to 2,557 at 7:10 a.m. in London. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index may increase 16, according to Cantor Index, a betting firm.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rallied for an eighth straight day, rising 1.6 percent, as the Sankei newspaper said Japan’s government may buy nonperforming loans from banks and India’s central bank cut interest rates for a fourth time since October. That’s the longest stretch of advances for stocks since 2004.

“Expectations of an Obama stimulus package including a $300 billion tax rebate rekindled a few smoldering investment embers in the Far East today,” David Buik, a London-based trader at BGC Partners in London, wrote.

U.S. stocks climbed to a two-month high last week, following the market’s worst annual drop since the Great Depression, as General Motors Corp. got its first cash infusion from the government. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.4 percent today.

Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index has gained 12 percent since Nov. 21 as Obama pledged to stimulate growth with the biggest infrastructure investment since the 1950s and the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to as low as zero percent to combat the worst global financial crisis in seven decades.

Tax Reductions

Obama is asking that tax cuts make up 40 percent of a stimulus package, according to a transition official and Democratic aides. The measure may be worth as much as $775 billion, a Democratic aide says, meaning tax cuts may constitute more than $300 billion of the legislation.

American depositary receipts of Nokia added 1.1 percent from the stock’s close in Finland. ADRs of Philips rose 1.2 percent from the close in the Netherlands.

BHP, the world’s biggest mining company, added 3.4 percent in Australia. Rio Tinto Group, the third-largest, jumped 8.6 percent.

Copper and zinc futures surged by the daily limit in Shanghai on speculation index funds will buy more industrial metals this month to reflect annual re-weightings in their benchmarks.

ADRs of Total SA, Europe’s biggest oil refiner, added 0.9 percent. Crude oil rose for a third day in New York after Israeli troops entered the Gaza Strip, escalating the 10-day-old conflict and threatening stability in the Middle East, the largest oil- producing region.

The contract for February delivery increased as much as 5.1 percent to $48.68 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


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