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Oil Drops on Bin Laden’s Death

Source: Bloomberg 5/2/2011, Location: North America

U.S. stock-index futures and shares jumped, while crude oil dropped the most in two weeks and the yen weakened after President Barack Obama said Osama bin Laden is dead. Silver tumbled as much as 13 percent.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.7 percent as of 4 p.m. in Tokyo, indicating U.S. shares may extend a four- day rally today. The MSCI Asia Pacific advanced 0.7 percent, set for the highest close since Jan. 19, and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.4 percent, extending a seven-day rally. The yen fell against 14 of 16 major peers. Crude sank 1.3 percent in New York. Silver plunged after CME Group Inc. increased the minimum amount of cash traders must deposit for speculative positions.

Bin Laden, who helped found the al-Qaeda terrorist network, has been killed in a U.S. operation, Obama said in a televised address. Asian stocks earlier gained after Warren Buffett said Berkshire Hathaway Inc. would be “delighted” to invest in Japan and elsewhere in the region, as data showed South Korean exports rose to a record in April and Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said next week’s budget will forecast the creation of 500,000 jobs within two years.

“This is a positive development in the campaign against terrorism,” said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at Manila-based Banco de Oro Unibank Inc. in Manila. “In the last 10 years, bin Laden’s presence has been a serious threat to global stability. The flipside is this could be followed by retaliation activities from his supporters.”

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