By Corrie Driebusch
International companies trading in New York closed sharply higher Wednesday, in line with the broader market, after remarks by central bankers in Europe and the U.S. hinted that more monetary stimulus is to come.
The Bank of New York index of ADRs climbed 2.8% to 113.69 as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said markets are underestimating political leaders' commitment to address the euro crisis.
Some investors took that to mean more monetary stimulus may be on its way.
European bank stocks in particular rallied.
Banco Santander SA (STD, SAN.MC) climbed 4.2% to $5.93, while Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA) rose 4.8% to $6.35.
French banks also jumped, with BNP Paribas SA (BNPQY, BNP.FR) ending up 5.3% at $18.15, Societe Generale SA (SCGLY, GLE.FR) gaining 5.2% to $4.48 and Credit Agricole SA (CRARY, ACA.FR) closing 3.8% higher at $1.93.
The European index ended up 2.9% at 104.81.
Drinks maker Diageo PLC (DEO, DGE.LN) said Wednesday that it plans to invest more than one billion pounds ($1.5 billion) in Scotch whisky production over the next five years to meet growing demand in emerging markets. Shares of Diageo climbed 4.2% to $97.88.
The Asian index rose 2.7% to 113.08.
Indian generic-drug maker Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. (RDY, 500124.BY) on Wednesday disclosed a research agreement with Germany's Merck KGaA (MKGAY, MRK.XE) aimed at developing biotechnology drugs that can be sold in the highly regulated but more lucrative markets of the U.S., Europe and Japan. Shares of Dr. Reddy's closed 1.3% higher at $29.07.
The Latin American index gained 2.4% to 306.53 and the emerging-markets index added 2.7% to 262.25.
Spot gold and silver jumped to a four-week high Wednesday as investors embraced the possibility that the U.S. could enter another round of gold-friendly monetary-policy easing.
Shares of miners rose, including Vale SA (VALE, VALE5.BR), up 3.2% at $18.75, and BHP Biliton Ltd. (BHP, BHP.AU), up 3.3% at $63.23.
Write to Corrie Driebusch at firstname.lastname@example.org.