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

Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:37pm EDT

* Stocks advance on reports that Cyprus hours away from deal

* Euro recovers on investor optimism about a Cyprus deal

* Oil holds above $107 as bailout deadline nears

* Bond prices slip on caution as bailout uncertainty

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK, March 22 (Reuters) - Global equity markets and the euro advanced 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. rose and European shares rebounded after Greece's Piraeus Bank agreed to take over the Greek branches of Cyprus's troubled banks in a deal that allows the country to shrink its bloated banking sector.

The deal involved the transfer of 17 billion euros of loans and 14 billion euros of deposits, a source close to the matter said.

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.

Finance ministers of the 17-nation euro zone will hold talks on Sunday on the bailout crisis in Cyprus, two euro zone sources told Reuters.

The euro rose 0.74 percent to $1.2992 in its first weekly gain in seven weeks on hopes Cyprus had averted a financial meltdown.

"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 11.1 percent to $59.53.

"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 closed up 90.54 points, or 0.63 percent, at 14,512.03. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 11.09 points, or 0.72 percent, at 1,556.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 22.40 points, or 0.70 percent, at 3,245.00.

For the week, the Dow was flat, the S&P was off 0.2 percent and the Nasdaq fell 0.1 percent.

MSCI's all-country world equity index gained 0.28 at 358.79.

In Europe, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 of leading regional shares retreated to close down 0.1 percent at 1189.44.

Oil prices rose above $107 a barrel. Brent crude for May delivery rose 19 cents to settle at $107.67 a barrel. U.S. crude for May settled up $1.26 at $93.71 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell 5/32 in price to yield 1.9302 percent.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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