May 2 - Oil prices tumble and Asian stocks extend gains in limited trade Monday, as Osama bin Laden's death lowers risk premium in markets. Arnold Gay reports.
NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4 BY 3 MATERIAL Oil prices tumbled and Asian stocks extended gains in limited trade Monday, on news of Osama bin Laden's death. SOUNDBITE (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body." Japan's Nikkei and South Korea's benchmark Kospi both added to gains, as oil prices tumbled and U.S. stock futures pointed to higher opens on Wall Street later Monday. The dollar rebounded from 3-year lows on the news, easing pressure on the yen and Japan's exporter stocks. Sydney stocks pared losses in a market weighed by a strong Australian dollar, lower commodity prices and drops in gold and silver. Analysts say Osama's death removes a risk premium in markets, particularly for oil. Crude oil prices fell by over $1.20 - a one percent drop - while Brent lost over 90 cents a barrel. Dow and S&P 500 futures added three-quarters of a percent each, while Nasdaq futures pointed to a one percent gain for the U.S. technology-heavy index. But analysts caution against overstating the longer-term impact of Osama's death, given that the Al Qaeda leader has long ceded operational control to his second in command.... a point made by Obama himself. SOUNDBITE (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda. And his death does not mark the end of our effort. There's no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad." Asian stocks still hit 3-and-a-half month highs in thin trade Monday, with labour day holidays across markets like China, HK, Taiwan, and Singapore. Arnold Gay, Reuters.