World stocks rise as Gaddafi falls

US MARKET CLOSE (8AM): World sharemarkets responded positively to the imminent overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and a fall in oil prices.

World sharemarkets responded positively to the imminent overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and a fall in oil prices.

On Wall Street, stocks rose after the technology sector gave the market a lift after four straight weeks of sharp losses. Gold prices strengthened and European crude futures fell.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 36.85 points, or 0.3%, to 10,854.50 after dropping 4% last week. The index earlier advanced as much as 203 points, but pared gains throughout the morning and almost turned negative before bouncing back.

The Dow's gains come after the index plunged 15% over the past four weeks as investors worried about the spreading European debt crisis and the threat of the US economy double-dipping back into recession.

The S&P 500 index was up less than a point to 1123.80. Telecom, technology and consumer discretionary stocks rose, while the financial sector declined.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.15% to 2345.30.

Other markets; Europe rises on renewed Libya oil hopes
European stock markets ended higher in a rebound from last week’s rout. Shares in Italian oil major Eni were among the top performers as Libya appeared on the verge of a leadership change.

Resistance has emerged as rebel forces push in Tripoli and heavy clashes are reported in Gaddafi’s compound. Meanwhile, his whereabouts are unknown.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index ended with a gain of 0.8% at 224.90, after the index fell to its lowest closing level in more than two years on Friday.

The gain for Eni helped lift Italy’s FTSE MIB index 1.8% to 14,861.6.

The UK’s FTSE 100 index rose 1.1% to close at 5,095.30 and the French CAC 40 climbed 1.1% to end at 3,051.36.

The German DAX 30 index ended down 0.1% at 5473.78, weighed down by car stocks.

Most Asian markets surrendered gains to end lower.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average ended 1% lower at 8623.13 as export stocks remained weak on the high yen.

Korea's Kospi slid 2% to 1710.70, China's Shanghai Composite dropped 0.7% to 2515.86, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index lost 0.5% to 4082.3 and Taiwan's Taiex fell 0.4% to 7312.59.

On the plus side, India's Sensex gained 1.2% to 16,341.70, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended a roller-coaster session with 0.5% gain to 19,486.87.

Commodities: Oil drops, gold nears $US1900
Crude futures pointed lower as traders looked to the resumption of Libyan oil shipments as the six-month conflict appears close to an end.

However, analysts have cautioned that exports are unlikely for several months after oil companies said bombings have caused extensive damage to the infrastructure.

Light, sweet crude for September delivery fell to as low as $US81.13 a barrel in New York. It was down 9USc, or 0.1%, at $US82.17 a barrel in midday trade.

October Brent crude on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, which has been more sensitive to the unrest in Libya, fell $US1.43, or 1.3%, to $US107.19 a barrel.

Gold forged to a new record as the market looked ahead to clues about the U.S. economic outlook from a the annual central bankers’ convention at Jackson Hole this week.

Gold for August delivery was up $US42.10, or 2.3%, at $US1891 in midday trade in New York. The contract touched an intraday record of $US1895 an ounce.

Currencies: Euro eases back
The euro traded slightly lower at $US1.4383 from $US1.4395 late on Friday, giving up all its modest early session gains.

The US dollar was ¥76.81 from ¥76.55 late on Friday, while the euro was at ¥110.46 from ¥110.20.

The UK pound was at $US1.6453 from $US1.6467, while the dollar bought 0.7890 Swiss franc from 0.7852 franc.

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