* Yen hits 33-month lows against dollar on BOJ report
* U.S. stocks open higher; world shares up 0.7 pct
* First exit polls show pro-reform party ahead in Italian
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Feb 25 World stock indexes rose and
the euro leaped against the dollar on Monday as investors
cheered exit poll results from Italy's weekend election that
showed the pro-reform Democratic Party was in the lead.
U.S. Treasury yields also rose.
Exit polls issued after voting closed in Italy's
parliamentary election showed the center-left coalition led by
Pier Luigi Bersani was leading Silvio Berlusconi's center-right
"All indications are that there will be no large surprises
in the elections," said Tom Tucci, head of Treasuries trading at
CIBC in New York.
The outcome of the election are expected to hold the key to
whether the country's current reform program will continue
Italian shares rallied and bonds gained. Italy's main FTSE
MIB stock market index was up 3.4 percent.
The MSCI world equity index gained as much
as 0.7 percent before pulling back slightly after three
consecutive weekly losses as evidence of sluggish global growth
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was
up 31.57 points, or 0.23 percent, at 14,032.14. The Standard &
Poor's 500 Index was up 3.08 points, or 0.20 percent, at
1,518.68. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 12.12
points, or 0.38 percent, at 3,173.94.
The euro last traded at $1.3286, up 0.7 percent on
the day. It hit a global session high of $1.3318 earlier in the
Earlier, the yen hit a 33-month low against the dollar on
higher prospects of unprecedented monetary easing in Japan.
Investors also are looking ahead to testimony by U.S.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to Congress on Tuesday and
Wednesday, in which he is expected to downplay the idea that the
central bank could prematurely end its current massive monthly
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was
down 2/32, the yield at 1.967 percent.