GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares, euro retreat as Cyprus euphoria fades

Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:22pm EDT

* Shares, euro pare initial gains after Cyprus gets bailout
    * Euro zone faces tough banking regime after deal - official
    * Safe-haven assets pare losses to rise on tough precedent


    By Herbert Lash
    NEW YORK, March 25 (Reuters) - Global equity markets and the
euro retreated on Monday after a senior euro zone official said
the Cyprus bailout reached earlier could be a new template for
resolving regional banking problems by shifting more risk to
depositors and stakeholders.
    The Cyprus rescue forced depositors and bank bond holders to
bear losses, a deal that could become a template for future bank
restructurings in the euro zone, said Dutch Finance Minister
Jeroen Dijsselbloem. 
    "What we've done last night is what I call pushing back the
risks," Dijsselbloem, who heads the Eurogroup of euro zone
finance ministers, told Reuters and the Financial Times.
    Cypriot policy-makers reached an eleventh-hour deal with the
European Union, the European Central Bank and the International
Monetary Fund to shut down its second largest bank in return for
10 billion euro ($13 billion). 
    While the bailout will avert a collapse of the Cypriot
banking system and keep Cyprus within the euro zone, the
agreement set a painful precedent for the region.
    Wall Street initially opened higher but retreated in morning
trade, helping pull European equity markets lower. 
    Italian blue-chips extended losses with traders citing
speculation of a possible downgrade of Italy's sovereign debt by
rating agency Moody's. 
    The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had
risen 0.9 percent earlier in the day, fell by 0.2 percent to
1,187.44 points.
     The Dow Jones industrial average was down 44.18
points, or 0.30 percent, at 14,467.85. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 2.22 points, or 0.14 percent, at 1,554.67.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 7.67 points, or 0.24
percent, at 3,237.33.
    "The critical issue remains that of precedent for larger
Eurozone countries, and the way in which the Cyprus situation
has been managed does not seem to inspire a great deal of
confidence," said Ilya Spivak, a currency strategist at DailyFX
in New York.
    MSCI's all-country world equity index fell
0.12 percent to 358.21.
    The euro fell as low as $1.2866 and last traded at
$1.2884, down 0.76 percent on the day, according to Reuters
data.
    The bailout was initially hailed by investors who had feared
Cyprus might default. However, the deal will inflict heavy
losses on depositors, including wealthy Russians, on deposits of
more than 100,000 euros, which are not guaranteed under EU law.
    Safe-haven assets such as U.S. Treasuries and German Bund
futures retreated after initial gains.
    Depositors in Cypriot banking institutions must contend at
best with capital controls locking up their money, Spivak said.
At worst, they may lose as much as 40 percent of their holdings.
     "This raises an important question: Why should a depositor
in any Eurozone country similarly vulnerable to a banking crisis
expect to be unscathed if a Cyprus-like calamity were to befall
them," Spivak said. 
    The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note also
pared losses, rising 2/32 in price to yield 1.9198 percent.
    Bund futures were up 28 ticks on the day at 144.65,
having fallen as low as 143.91 earlier in the session.
    Oil prices in London also retreated, with Brent crude 
 falling 13 cents to above $107.53 a barrel.
    U.S. crude remained higher. U.S. light sweet crude oil
 rose 58 cents to $94.29 a barrel.
FILED UNDER:
A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Find your dream retirement town

Florida? Hawaii? Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire.  Video | Full Article