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U.S., European markets up after Kim Jong Il's death

December 19, 2011 |  7:08 am

European and U.S. markets are shrugging off the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il after Asian markets earlier reacted negatively
European and U.S. markets are shrugging off the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il after Asian markets reacted negatively. 

Asian stocks fell swiftly after North Korea announced Kim's death over the weekend. South Korea's Kospi Index ended the day off 3.4%, while leading indexes were down 1.3% in Japan and 2.2% in Taiwan.

Kim's death, and the likely succession of his son, creates the type of uncertainty that typically unnerves investors.

PHOTOS: Kim Jong Il | 1942-2011

European markets opened down, but have risen over the course of the day, putting leading indexes up 0.8% in Germany and 1% in France.

Investors are anticipating a conference call of European leaders later today that is set to iron out details of a recently created agreement aimed at alleviating the continent's financial crisis.

The European deal announced earlier this month, which made more funds available to confront the sovereign debt crisis, ended up disappointing most investors -- the Dow Jones industrial average finished last week down 2.6% -- but today's call could provide more encouraging steps.

The Dow was up 47.53 points or 0.4%  to 11,914.15 in early trading Monday morning. The Nasdaq composite index was up 0.6%, or 15.30 points to 2,570.33.

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FULL COVERAGE: The death of Kim Jong Il

-- Nathaniel Popper in New York
twitter.com/nathanielpopper

Photo: Currency traders talk in front of the screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index, left, and foreign exchange rates at the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday.  Credit: Lee Jin-man / Associated Press

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