TOKYO, (AP) – Major world stock markets rose, the dollar strengthened and oil prices were lower after news that U.S. forces killed terror mastermind Osama bin Laden following a near-decade-long manhunt.
President Barack Obama announced during holiday-thinned Asian trading hours that the man who inspired the deadly Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States was killed in Pakistan in a U.S.-led operation.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.6 percent to 10,004.20 — the highest closing since an earthquake and tsunami on March 11 decimated the country’s northeastern coast.
South Korea’s Kospi index, meanwhile, advanced 1.7 percent to a new record high of 2,228.96, bringing the Seoul benchmark’s gain so far this year to 8.7 percent.
European markets opened higher. France’s CAC-40 rose 0.3 percent to 4,120.03 and Germany’s DAX gained 0.7 percent to 7,563.52. Britain’s FTSE 100 was closed for a holiday.
Wall Street, meanwhile, was set to open higher. Dow Jones industrial futures rose 0.6 percent to 12,837 and S&P futures gained 0.6 percent 1,367.80.
Ben Potter, market strategist at IG Markets in Melbourne, Australia, said that bin Laden’s death was an immediate boost for equity markets.
“However, like many euphoric bounces, they are often short lived, especially given the possibility for reprisal attacks from extremists,” he wrote in a report.
The greenback rose to 81.51 yen from 81.10 yen. The euro, meanwhile, was weaker at $1.4819 from $1.4839 late Friday in New York.
The dollar was bought on the belief that “terror risk will get smaller” for the United States, said Yuji Kameoka, chief currency strategist at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets in Tokyo. He said that yen weakness and a decline in the price of crude oil were boosting Japanese stock prices.
Oil prices eased off 2 1/2-year highs to below $113 a barrel after Obama announced bin Laden’s had been killed.
Benchmark crude for June delivery was down $1.40 at $112.53 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract settled at $113.93 per barrel on the Nymex on Friday and reached $114.18 during in the session, the highest since September 2008.
Declining oil prices helped boost shares of airlines, which are sensitive to fuel prices. Korean Air Lines Co. Ltd., the country’s largest air carrier, soared 6.6 percent. Rival Asiana Airlines Inc. soared 12 percent. Japan’s All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. jumped 2.5 percent.
Stock trading in Asia was thin amid a slew of holidays this week in the region. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index and mainland China’s Shanghai Composite Index were closed Monday as were stock markets in Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. The Nikkei, Asia’s largest market, will be closed Tuesday through Thursday for Japan’s annual Golden Week holiday.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200, meanwhile, recovered from early losses to rise less than 0.1 percent to 4,825.30. Markets in the Philippines and Indonesia also rose, but New Zealand and India were lower.
Markets in Japan and South Korea started in positive territory after the Dow Jones industrial average rose Friday on positive earnings news as construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar reported strong first-quarter profit.
The Dow rose 47.23 points Friday, or 0.4 percent, to close at 12,810.54, rounding out April 4 percent higher, its best month since December.
Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of mining and construction equipment, rose 2.5 percent after its earnings increased more than fivefold. The company also raised its sales and profit forecast for the year.
Japan’s Komatsu Ltd., the world’s No. 2 equipment maker, rose 1.7 percent in Tokyo.
Broader indices in the U.S. also gained.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 3.13 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1,363.61. The index gained 2.8 percent in April. The Nasdaq composite added 1.01 point to 2,873.54. It rose 3.3 percent for the month.