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Shares of US bond insurers...

... jumped on Thursday after President-elect Barack Obama’s staff proposed a programme to create a federal backstop for the $2.7trn municipal-bond market. Shares of Ambac were as much as 31% higher during the day before closing at $1.52, up 13%, while shares of Assured Guaranty rose 13% to $12.46 and those of MBIA gained 12% to $5.61. Under the Obama team’s proposal, the backstop would assist municipalities’ raising of funds for infrastructure projects and ease pressure on muni-bond guarantees offered by bond insurers.

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