Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Asian Stocks, Index Futures Rise on Fed Plan to Boost Liquidity

By Masaki Kondo and Emma O'Brien


March 12 (Bloomberg) -- Asia's stocks and index futures jumped after the Federal Reserve said it will pour as much as $200 billion into the financial system to revive lending among banks.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. surged 7.9 percent, headed for the biggest gain in more than 10 years, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia advanced 6.7 percent. U.S.-traded receipts of Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan's largest securities firm, climbed 5.1 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo yesterday.

The Fed said it plans to lend Treasuries in exchange for debt that includes mortgage-backed securities, sending the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to its biggest rally in more than five years.

``It's a good bit of news when the market anticipated none,'' said Troy Angus, who helps manage the equivalent of $3.5 billion at Paradice Investment Management Ltd. in Sydney. ``Financials broadly will be rallying pretty hard.''

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 196.50, or 3.9 percent, to 5,334.20 in Sydney as of 10:14 a.m., set for the biggest jump since Jan. 25. New Zealand's NZX 50 Index rose 52.87, or 1.5 percent, to 3,573.73 in Wellington.

Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures expiring in March last traded at 12,990 in Chicago, up from the close of 12,620 in Osaka and 12,615 in Singapore yesterday. The Bank of New York Japan ADR Index, which tracks American depositary receipts of Japanese companies, jumped 3.5 percent, the biggest gain since June 2006.