GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares, euro rebound on hope Cyprus reaches deal

Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:20pm EDT

* Stocks rebound, reports say Cyprus hours away from deal

* Euro recovers on investor optimism about a Cyprus deal

* Oil holds above $107 as bailout deadline nears

* Bond prices fall

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK, March 22 (Reuters) - Global equity markets and the euro rebounded on Friday on hopes Cyprus will avert a financial collapse, taking succor from an agreement that shielded Greek banks from the Cypriot crisis and remarks that the island nation was hours away from a bailout.

U.S. and European shares rebounded earlier in the session on reports Greek banks had agreed to buy the local units of stricken Cypriot banks.

The deputy leader of the ruling party in Cyprus later said that the country was close to a compromise that would let its parliament reverse the rejection of a rescue package offered by euro zone partners a week ago.

The euro rose 0.67 percent to $1.2984 even as Cyprus' increasingly isolated leaders scrambled to strike a bailout deal with the European Union by Monday, after Russia rebuffed Cypriot entreaties for aid.

Cyprus took a first step toward financial consolidation by arranging for a Greek competitor to take over big Greek units of its banks. Piraeus Bank was chosen to take over the Greek branches of Cypriot lenders that are being sold.

"It seems that investors are expecting a deal before the Monday deadline. So they're not placing new shorts on the euro going into the weekend. They don't want to be caught on the wrong side of the bet in case a deal does materialize," said Brian Kim, currency strategist at RBS Securities in Stamford, Connecticut.

Wall Street was lifted by retail stocks, the day's top gainers, on better-than-expected results from Nike Inc. Nike shares rose 11.6 percent to $59.81.

"While the market may be vulnerable because it's up so much, the U.S. economy is in a better shape and better position to withstand the whole euro zone and Cyprus situation," said Randy Frederick, managing director of active trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 80.41 points, or 0.56 percent, at 14,501.90. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 9.49 points, or 0.61 percent, at 1,555.29. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 19.38 points, or 0.60 percent, at 3,241.98.

MSCI's all-country world equity index gained 0.2 at 358.52.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 retreated to close down 0.1 percent to 1189.44.

Oil prices rose above $107 a barrel. Brent crude for May delivery was up 16 cents at $107.63 a barrel. U.S. crude for May settled up $1.26 at $93.71 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note traded flat in price to yield 1.9129 percent.

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