Asian trade: Asian markets are trading in the red for a second day, as the situation in the financial sector seems to worsen. U.S. futures managed to rise in the Asian session, retracing some of the declines seen in the spot market.
HSBC continues to be sold heavily on every market its shares are listed. The bank announced it would raise $17.5 billion by issuing new shares, something that would dilute the current shareholders. As such, HSBC’s shares plunged tonight 18% in Hong Kong, following a similar decline on the U.K. Ftse.
On the Nikkei, the financials led yet again the declines, as it happened worldwide in the last few trading sessions. Interesting enough, car-manufacturers and some of the companies that operate in the heavy industry sector lead the gains, even though their outlook is very uncertain too.
In the U.S., the Dow closed below the 7,000 points benchmark for the first time since 1997, as AIG posted a record loss of more than $60 billion. The insurer’s shares plunged over 99% in the last year, reducing its market cap to only $1.13 billion, a lot less than it would need to survive on its own. However, since the U.S. Treasury is its biggest shareholder, bankruptcy should not be a problem right now.
Tonight, the Nikkei shed 75.26 points (1.03%) to 7,204.89. The Australian S&P declined 48.80 points (1.50%) to 3,201.30.
Crude oil extended the decline from the last day of trading in the Asian session. Crude oil for April delivery fell $0.10 to $40.10
Gold declined for the sixth straight session tonight. Bullion for immediate delivery fell $8.40 to $931.60.