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S&P 500 Futures Jump, Oil Drops on Bin Laden’s Death

U.S. stock-index futures and Asian shares jumped, while crude oil fell from a 31-month high 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 0.5 percent as of 1:24 p.m. in Tokyo, indicating U.S. shares may extend a four-day rally when markets open later today. The MSCI Asia Pacific added 0.5 percent, set for the highest close since Jan. 19. The yen fell against 13 of 16 most actively traded peers. Crude sank 1.1 percent in New York. Silver plunged after CME Group Inc., the Comex parent, increased the minimum amount of cash that 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.”

Pakistan Firefight

The S&P 500 rose for a fourth day on April 29 after companies such as Caterpillar Inc. and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. reported earnings that topped analysts’ estimates. Chesapeake Energy Corp., Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Loews Corp. are among 13 S&P 500 members scheduled to release quarterly earnings today.

Bin Laden was killed by U.S. operatives after a firefight at a compound in Pakistan, Obama said. The news comes almost 10 years after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Virginia just outside of Washington.

Treasuries declined, sending 10-year yields two basis points higher to 3.31 percent. U.S. economic reports today are forecast to show a gain in construction spending and a moderation in manufacturing growth, while data later this week may show employment probably increased for a seventh straight month in April.

The Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against the currencies of six major U.S. trading partners, gained 0.3 percent to 73.155 from 72.933, after earlier touching 72.813, the weakest since July 2008. The dollar traded at 81.49 yen from 81.19 yen in New York last week.

‘Good News’

“This is good news for the U.S., and that means the dollar gets bought,” said Kuniyuki Hirai, manager of foreign-exchange trading at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., a unit of Japan’s largest lender. “This may reduce the burden of U.S. military expenses and prove that Obama’s operation was right.”

Oil for June delivery fell as much as 1.5 percent to $112.21 a barrel before trading at $112.73 in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures retreated from the highest settlement since September 2008.

Silver for July delivery dropped to $42.20 an ounce before trading at $44.155 after the CME increased the so-called initial margin by 13 percent to $14,513 per contract from $12,825 after the close of business on Friday. Margins were $4,250 a year ago. Immediate-delivery silver fell 8.1 percent to $44.05 and gold dropped 0.8 percent to $1,550.65 an ounce, after earlier climbing to a record $1,577.57.

Copper for July delivery fell 0.5 percent to $4.1590 a pound on the Comex in New York, extending a 1.9 percent drop on April 29. There was no trading of industrial metals on the London Metal Exchange, which is closed for a holiday.

China’s Manufacturing

Copper futures retreated after China’s logistics federation and the statistics bureau said yesterday the Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 52.9 in April from 53.4 in March. The figure released yesterday was below a median forecast of 53.9 in a Bloomberg News survey of 20 economists.

More than two shares advanced for every one that fell on MSCI’s Asia Pacific Index, helping to extend the measure’s 2.7 percent gain in April. China, Hong Kong and Singapore are among markets closed for holidays today.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 1.4 percent, poised for its highest close since March 11, the day Japan was struck by its largest earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The Markit iTraxx Japan index declined 3 basis points to 120.5 basis points, according to Deutsche Bank AG prices. Japan is a “very big economy” and is one that Berkshire Hathaway would feel “comfortable in,” Buffett said yesterday at a news conference.

Seiko Epson, Nitto Denko

Seiko Epson Corp., a Japanese printer maker, rallied 4.4 percent in Tokyo after forecasting net income will jump 66 percent this fiscal year. Nitto Denko Corp., a chemical-products maker, surged 5.5 percent after saying full-year net income increased to 55.7 billion yen ($684 million) from 37.6 billion yen a year earlier.

South Korea’s Kospi index jumped 1.3 percent, paced by GS Engineering & Construction Corp., after the government announced policy measures to aid troubled builders and boost the property market. Stocks also gained after South Korean exports climbed 26.6 percent from a year earlier to a record $49.77 billion, compared with a revised 28.9 percent gain in March and the median estimate of a 23.7 percent increase in a Bloomberg News survey of 13 economists.

The won appreciated 0.4 percent to 1,067.05 per dollar and earlier reached 1,065.50, the strongest level since August 2008. Separate data today showed South Korea’s consumer prices rose 4.2 percent from a year earlier, after a 4.7 percent gain March.