* Global shares jump after U.S. Congress passes budget deal
* Euro rises as U.S. dollar weakens as risk wanes
* Oil, copper jump as commodities join rally in risky assets
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, Jan 2 Global stock markets surged
about 2.0 percent and commodity prices rallied on Wednesday
after the U.S. legislators approved a deal halting a round of
automatic fiscal tightening that threatened to push the world's
largest economy into recession.
The deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" reached on Tuesday kept
at bay the immediate pain of tax hikes for almost all U.S.
households, but did nothing to resolve other political showdowns
on the budget that loom in coming months.
Spending cuts of $109 billion in military and domestic
programs were only delayed for two months.
The deal boosted investors' appetite for riskier assets and
depressed the U.S. dollar against major currencies. Brent crude
oil hit an 11-week high of almost $113 per barrel and gold
prices rose more than 1.0 percent.
The vote in Congress removed a major uncertainty hanging
over markets, but some analysts cautioned the optimism could
fade if U.S. economic data later this week disappoints.
"Many investors are feeling confident heading into 2013
following a year of strong equity market returns, and the
recently signed deal," said Jonathan Golub, strategist at UBS in
"Unfortunately, our sense is that the most important
structural issues will continue to be pushed off into the
future, leaving significant uncertainty about the long-term
direction of the economy and corporate profits."
Wall Street stocks surged on the opening, following strong
equity gains in Europe and Asia.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 257.83
points, or 1.97 percent, at 13,361.97. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was up 28.79 points, or 2.02 percent, at 1,454.98.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 74.71 points, or 2.47
percent, at 3,094.22.
The MSCI all-country world equity index rose
1.98 percent to levels last seen in early July 2011. The
pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 rose 1.88 percent to
In currency markets, the euro hit $1.3299, the
highest in two weeks and not far from an 8-1/2-month high set on
Dec. 19. It was last at $1.3248, up 0.3 percent.
The U.S. dollar fell 0.3 percent against a basket of major
currencies. The dollar traditionally rises when markets
sense risk and falls when tensions subside.
It was a similar story for government debt, where prices of
higher-yielding Spanish and Italian bonds rose and the German
equivalent, usually favored by risk-averse investors, fell. The
Bund future was on track for its biggest daily fall
since September as it dropped 1.52 points to 144.12.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was
down 26/32 in price to yield 1.8459 percent.
Brent rose $1.58 to $112.69. U.S. crude rose
$1.72 to $93.54 a barrel.