Oil falls, stocks edge up as Mubarak resigns

U.S. crude oil prices, which had been rising on fears of potential supply disruptions from the Middle East, fell $1.24, or 1.43 percent, to $85.49 per barrel

Oil falls, stocks edge up as Mubarak resigns

Oil and gold prices fell while world stocks rose on Friday after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, following more than two weeks of popular unrest that roiled financial markets.

But the U.S. dollar and Treasuries prices kept gains as investors worried about the transfer of power in Egypt and potential new uprisings in other countries in the region, which could affect oil prices again.

The greenback was also supported by data showing the U.S. economic recovery is gaining traction. Resurgent concerns about the European sovereign debt crisis weighed on the euro.

"Initially you'll see a pop in the market and oil come off on the hope that this prevents violence in the streets of Egypt. But as we go forward, we'll start wondering what's next for the country," said Jay Suskind, senior vice president at money management firm Duncan-Williams in Jersey City.

"If there's a sense that Egypt won't go in a semi-democratic (direction), and that the new power is unfriendly to the West, we could see some nerves on that. There's still a lot of uncertainty, along with some cautious optimism," he added.

Mubarak ceded power to a military council, which will run the affairs of Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation. A free and fair presidential election has been promised for September.

U.S. crude oil prices, which had been rising on fears of potential supply disruptions from the Middle East, fell $1.24, or 1.43 percent, to $85.49 per barrel. Spot gold prices dropped $2.98, or 0.22 percent, to $1,358.50 an ounce.

Key U.S. stock indexes erased early losses to trade higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 26.19 points, or 0.21 percent, to 12,255.48, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 5.02 points, or 0.38 percent, to 1,326.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 14.03 points, or 0.50 percent, at 2,804.48.

In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closed up 0.41 percent. MSCI's benchmark All-Country World Index edged up 0.16 percent.

"It looks like the stock market is taking the news well," said Gary Thayer, chief macro strategist with Wells Fargo in St. Louis.

"One thing that has weighed on investor sentiment is that the price of oil would go up in the case of political turmoil, and Mubarak's leaving reduces that possibility."

Despite a slight return in risk appetite, the dollar kept its gains. The greenback rose 0.33 percent against a basket of major currencies, based on the U.S. Dollar Index. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar gained 0.32 percent to 83.53.

The dollar was also helped after a survey showed U.S. consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in eight months in early February, suggesting the U.S. economic recovery was on track. Stronger economic growth may eventually translate into higher Treasuries yields and boost the appeal of the dollar.

The euro fell 0.49 percent to $1.3526, pressured by euro zone sovereign debt concerns.

"There are bigger things driving the euro right now," said Brian Dolan, chief currency strategist at Forex.com in Bedminster, New Jersey.

"The concerns most heavily weighing on the euro -- the ongoing debt crisis -- are still there, and for now, the downside is still in play," he said.

U.S Treasury prices shed some gains after Mubarak's resignation was announced, but benchmark 10-year notes last rose 12/32 in price, with the yield at 3.6551 percent.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Şubat 2011, 09:40

Muhammed Öylek