Stocks and Oil Rise, Yen Falls as Japan Holds, Libya Erupts

Mar 21st, 2011 | By | Category: Business and Finance

As Japan’s nuclear crisis remained contained, the yen fell in value against other international currency, while stocks rose to their highest three-day gain of the year. Meanwhile the onset of fighting in Libya sent oil up.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced that progress is being made towards restoring power to two nuclear reactors damaged in the recent earthquake. The market responded to the news, with the yen falling against 16 international currencies, depreciating 0.5 percent to 80.99 per dollar. Simultaneously, 10-year US Treasury yields gained 4 basis points, rising to 3.31 percent. Companies with business in the nuclear power industry recovered losses incurred last week.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 1.5 percent to 3.3 percent as of as of 2:03 pm New York time, its best three-day advance since the first week of December. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index also rose 1.8 percent.

Contributing to this was an announcement that Deutsche Telekom AG will sell T-Mobile USA to AT&T for $39 billion, which sent telephone shares rallying. The Stoxx 600 Telecommunications Index posted its biggest gain in ten months, jumping 3.7 percent, with 20 of 21 shares advancing.

Meanwhile an American and European coalition attack on Libya sent oil rising 0.8 percent. Commodities also rose, with the S&P GSCI commodity index climbing for a fourth day.

US equities maintained gains. However, the housing market continued to lag behind other economic sectors, with sales remaining more sluggish than anticipated in February.

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