Global stocks remain flat on euro zone crisis

Global stocks remain flat on euro zone crisis.

Today European shares and the euro remained flat, losing early gains as investors fretted that Cyprus’s raid on bank deposits could become the template for future euro zone bailouts.

Banks in Cyprus remain closed following the country’s bailout agreement at the weekend, but comments from Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the new head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, have stripped investors of the appetite for the kind of rebound that has followed other rescue deals.

The FTSE All-World is up 0.2% at 236.0, not far from the four-and-a-half-year high of 238.6 hit a couple of weeks ago.

Wall Street’s S&P 500 index is up 7 points to 1,559 at the opening bell, supported by data showing US house prices in January saw their biggest annual increase in six-and-a-half years.

On Monday the S&P traded just 1 point shy of the 1,565 level that was the previous closing high in 2007, before Jeroen Dijsselbloem triggered widespread “risk asset” selling by saying that the Cypriot rescue marked a watershed in how the region deals with failing banks.

But markets have now stabilised as traders absorb Mr Dijsselbloem’s attempts to clarify his initial comments, saying Cyprus was indeed a “specific case”, with “exceptional challenges”.

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