Cyprus Bailout Deal Lifts US Stock Futures

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Stock futures up on Greece but gains limited after rally
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange February 16, 2012.

U.S. stock index futures point to a higher open Monday as investor sentiment was buoyed on news that Cyprus clinched a last minute deal with international lenders on the much-needed bailout.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.26 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were up 0.34 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.45 percent.

Cyprus secured 10 billion euros ($13 billion) of emergency loans early Monday in last-minute negotiations with international lenders to avert a collapse of the island nation’s banking system. The deal came just hours before the Monday night funding deadline set by the European Central Bank last week, failing which it planned to cut off its emergency liquidity assistance to the island's banks.

Under the agreement, Cyprus agreed to split its second largest bank Laiki immediately into good and bad banks. All deposits fewer than 100,000 euros will be fully guaranteed by the state in accordance with the EU's deposit insurance guarantee and will be transferred to the Bank of Cyprus, the nation's biggest lender, to create a "good bank."

However, investors with deposits more than threshold in Cyprus' two biggest lenders - Bank of Cyprus and Laiki - will be frozen and used to resolve Laiki's debts and recapitalize Bank of Cyprus through a deposit/ equity conversion. The levy on uninsured Laiki depositors will raise about 4.2 billion euros for the country.

"There's quite a bit of short-covering in today's rebound after the Cyprus deal, but we have barely cut last week's losses, so there's nothing to be too excited about," Jackson Wong, vice-president for equity sales at Tanrich Securities, told Reuters.

U.S. stock markets advanced Friday as hopes that Cyprus will eventually be able to reach a bailout deal with its international lenders buoyed sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.63 percent, the S&P 500 Index was up 0.72 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.70 percent.

European stock markets were trading higher, with Germany's DAX30 surging 1.04 percent, France's CAC 40 climbing 1.32 percent and London's FTSE 100 gaining 0.55 percent.

Asian stock markets advanced Monday as Cyprus managed to clinch a last-minute bailout deal to avert a potential exit from the euro zone and a collapse of its banking system. Japan’s Nikkei surged 1.69 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.61 percent, while India’s BSE Sensex advanced 0.60 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI Composite gained 1.49 percent.

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