U.S. Markets closed

World stocks rise ahead of release of US data

Pamela Sampson, AP Business Writer

A worker restores a damaged door of a branch of a Bank of Cyprus after a bomb attack at Polemidia a suburb of the southern port city of Limassol, Cyprus, early Monday, March 25, 2013. After failing for a week to find a solution to a crisis that could force their country into bankruptcy, Cypriot politicians turned to the European Union on Sunday in a last-ditch effort to help the island nation forge a viable plan to secure an international bailout. (AP Photo/Pavlos Vrionides)

BANGKOK (AP) -- World stock markets staged a comeback Tuesday from losses the day before as traders awaited data that is expected to show strengthening orders for U.S. durable goods such as cars and appliances.

Asian markets were muted but European shares and U.S. futures rose ahead of the U.S. Commerce Department's release of business orders for durable goods in February. The consensus forecast is that orders rose 3.7 percent after a 4.9 percent drop in January. That data is expected to outshine reports showing some lag in consumer confidence and new home sales.

Analysts at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong said in a market commentary that market sentiment should be "supported by a sharp gain in US durable goods orders, even though consumer confidence and new home sales are set to retreat from healthy levels."

Britain's FTSE 100 slipped less than 0.1 percent to 6,374.71. Germany's DAX rose 0.2 percent to 7,886.88. France's CAC-40 advanced 0.5 percent to 3,745.03.

Wall Street appeared set for a higher open, with Dow Jones industrial futures rising 0.2 percent to 14,413 while S&P 500 futures advanced 0.2 percent to 1,550.

Earlier in the day, stock markets in Asia wavered as worries emerged about the terms of the deal that prevents the collapse of Cyprus' banking system but that requires an industry overhaul and inflicts big losses for bondholders and depositors.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.6 percent to close at 12,471.62. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.3 percent to 22,311.08. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.8 percent to 4,950.20. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.3 percent to 1,983.70.

Mainland Chinese shares fell, with the Shanghai Composite Index losing 1.2 percent to 2,297.67 while the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index lost 0.7 percent to 953.36. Losses were attributed to moves by the government to cool off the real estate sector.

Concerns over Cyprus intensified late Monday after a key official indicated that the rescue it was provided may have to be repeated in other nations with struggling banks. Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that bondholders and depositors should be prepared to take losses if the banks they put their money in run into trouble.

In return for a 10 billion euros ($13 billion) bailout from international lenders, Cyprus agreed to drastically shrink its banking sector, cut its budget, implement economic reforms and privatize state assets.

Cyprus must contribute 5.8 billion euros to the deal. To do so, the country's second-largest bank, Laiki, will be restructured and bondholders and depositors with more than 100,000 euros will have to take significant losses.

Depositors in the biggest bank, the Bank of Cyprus, with over 100,000 euros will also bear a cost but those with savings up to 100,000 euros will covered by the EU's deposit insurance guarantee.

Some analysts said, however, the deal was a short-term solution that quickly relieved a small-sized crisis that could have spiraled rapidly downward.

"Cyprus is less than 1 percent of the European Union's GDP," said Dickie Wong of Kingston Securities in Hong Kong. "But those savers and bondholders are in deep trouble."

Among individual stocks, Tomy Co. tumbled 5.5 percent after the Japanese toy maker revised down its earnings projection for the current business year ending March, Kyodo News Agency said.

In energy markets, benchmark oil for May delivery was up 25 cents to $95.05 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.10 to finish at $94.81 a barrel on the Nymex on Monday.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.2873 from $1.2851 late Monday in New York. The dollar fell to 94.07 yen from 94.16 yen.


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