Mubarak Steps Down, Investors’ Confidence Steps In

Steven Bobson, Europe & Americas Editor
February 11, 2011 /

Following the resignation of Egyptian Prsident Hosni Mubarak today, US and European stocks rebounded as investors’ optimism started to gain momentum and consumers’ confidence helped in reversing the early decline.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 0.2 percent to 12249 after Friday’s trading, up 20 points. Upon Mubarak‘s resignation, the figures climbed higher to 12278.26 compared with Nasdaq’s intraday high of 2801, up 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, S&P’s 500-stock index rose to 1326.52, up 0.4 percent at 1:31 p.m. in New Yor, its intraday high in 2½ years.

In the energy sector, crude-oil futures plunged to a 10-week low of $86 per barrel, down 1.7 percent  compared with the past week’s figures when the Egypt protests created rumors of the closure of Suez Canal and anxiety among consumers. The region holds more than half of the world’s oil reserves.

Nokia has declined 14 percent following reports that it will join hands with Microsoft, which slipped 1.5 percent, to create Windows Phone for its smartphones.

Ford Motor, on the other hand, climbed 2.9 percent following the $3 billion debt reduction by the firm.

The financial sector saw the widest leap after the Obama government’s proposed downsizing of the Federal Housing Administration has driven up insurers. Genworth Financial rose 4.5 percent, MGIC Investment by 10 percent, and PMI Group closed intraday at 2.4 percent.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.4 percent with the surge of auto companies and commodity producers, wiping off the early decline.

Following the announcement of its full-year profit surpassing predictions of analysts, Michelin & Cie. rose 3.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.8 percent.

One of Australia’s key players in gold mining, Newcrest Mining, plunged 1.4 percent spurred by the missed first-half earnings.


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