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Asia stocks bounce back after Cyprus scare

Source : AP
Last Updated: Tue, Mar 19, 2013 03:30 hrs

Asian stock markets rose Tuesday, shaking off jitters sparked by a plan to give bank deposits in Cyprus a haircut to help fund the European country's bailout.

Most benchmarks rose modestly while Japan's Nikkei 225 index jumped 2 percent to 12,467.18 as the yen began to drop against the dollar.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.5 percent to 22,201.93. South Korea's Kospi rose 1 percent to 1,987.52. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.2 percent to 5,023.50. Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia rose, while the Philippines dropped.

Stock markets dropped around the world Monday as jitters intensified over an agreement between cash-strapped Cyprus and its lenders to fund a 15.8 billion euros ($20.4 billion) rescue plan by taxing deposits in the country's banks.

It would be the first time in the European debt crisis that bank deposits have been seized and has stoked fears of bank runs among the 16 other countries that use the euro.

Cypriot authorities delayed a parliamentary vote Monday on the plan and ordered the country's banks to remain closed until Thursday while they try to modify the deal to lessen the impact on small depositors.

On Wall Street, the Dow dropped 0.4 percent to 14,452.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.6 percent to 1,552.10. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 0.4 percent to 3,237.59.

Benchmark oil for April delivery was up 17 cents to $93.91 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 29 cents to close at $93.74 per barrel on the Nymex on Monday.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.2959 from $1.2948 late Monday in New York. The dollar rose to 95.66 yen from 95.42 yen.

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