Monday, October 10, 2011

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks, euro inch up on debt deal hopes

SINGAPORE: Asian shares and the euro edged up on Monday after the leaders of France and Germany pledged to unveil a comprehensive plan to solve the euro zone's two-year-old sovereign debt crisis by the end of the month.

European policymakers have been under pressure from volatile financial markets, amid fears that the crisis is heading inexorably towards a default by Greece -- and perhaps others -- that could unleash turmoil in the banking system.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after talks in Berlin on Sunday that their goal was to come up with a sustainable answer for Greece's woes, agree how to recapitalise European banks and present a plan for accelerating economic coordination in the euro zone by a G20 summit in Cannes on Nov. 3-4.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan inched up 0.1 percent, with Australian shares and Seoul's main index both up 0.6 percent. Tokyo markets were closed for a public holiday.

The euro crept up around 0.2 percent to $1.3395 , from $1.3375 on Friday, when it had come under pressure following ratings downgrades of Italy and Spain.

The downgrade had also hit U.S. share markets, with the S&P 500 ending Friday down 0.8 percent. S&P 500 futures were up 0.7 percent on Monday, pointing to a firmer start on Wall Street.

Oil firmed, building on Friday's gains on the back of better-than-expected jobs data from the United States, which eased fears of renewed recession in the world's biggest consumer.

Brent crude rose 0.3 percent to $106.19 a barrel and U.S. crude gained 0.6 percent to $83.49.

Copper fell 1.1 percent to around $7,289 a tonne, giving up some of the gains from last week's bounce that saw it post its biggest weekly gain in six months. ' Reuters

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