PARIS French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde on Monday welcomed the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and said his death could bolster consumer confidence and economic growth in the United States.
"The U.S. economy is like the American people. It reacts very quickly either positively or negatively," Lagarde told France 2 television. "I wouldn't be surprised if this event prompted a pick-up in confidence."
News that a U.S.-led operation had killed bin Laden in a firefight in Pakistan caused the dollar to rebound from a three-year low on Monday, and Lagarde said his killing would give a lift to U.S. stocks and other financial securities.
The death of the terrorist leader who masterminded the deadly September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, would help heal a wound that had been open for nearly a decade, she said.
Bin Laden had been the object of a search since he eluded U.S. soldiers and Afghan militia forces in a large-scale assault on the Tora Bora mountains of Afghanistan in 2011.
(Reporting by Vicky Buffery)