Asia stocks rise after Cyprus gets bailout loan

AP News
Posted: Mar 24, 2013 10:59 PM

BANGKOK (AP) — A last-minute package of rescue loans that saves Cyprus from a banking collapse and bankruptcy helped push Asian stock markets higher Monday.

Finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro currency approved the 10 billion euro ($12.9 billion) bailout plan just hours before a deadline. The European Central Bank had threatened to cut crucial emergency assistance to the country's banks by Tuesday without an agreement.

To obtain the aid, Cyprus must raise 5.8 billion euros of its own. To do so, the country's second-largest bank, Laiki, will be restructured and holders of bank deposits of more than 100,000 euros will have to take losses, European Union officials told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

It was not immediately clear what might be in store for large depositors in other banks.

Depending on the details, "the outcome will mean that the risks of Cyprus defaulting and leaving the euro zone will have significantly diminished," said analysts at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong in a market commentary.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index advanced 1.4 percent to 12,504.37. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.5 percent to 22,210.51. Australia's S&P 500 added 0.5 percent to 4,994.10. South Korea's Kospi jumped 1.4 percent to 1,975.08.

Wall Street closed higher Friday, boosted by strong company earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.6 percent to 14,512.03. The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed up 0.7 percent at 1,556.89. The Nasdaq composite average closed up 0.7 percent at 3,245.

Benchmark oil for May delivery was up 41 cents to $94.12 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.26, or 1.4 percent, to finish at $93.71 a barrel on the Nymex on Friday.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3024 from $1.2983 late Friday in New York. The dollar rose to 94.80 yen from 94.48 yen.


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