Asian trade:Asian stocks opened lower for the third consecutive day, after very poor reports came out of the U.S. economy. However, the Nikkei was sheltered from any losses, since the index is closed for business.

Equity markets in Asia opened lower, trailing close were the U.S. markets on Friday. Back then, a release showed that the unemployment rate jumped four basis points, to 7.2% in December, while the economy shed another +500 jobs. The total number of job losses in 2008 reached 2.5 millions, the most since World War II. Furthermore, the unemployment rate is forecasted to go as high as 8.5% in 2009, in July the rate was reported at 5.8%.

Tonight, the Nikkei was closed for business. The Australian S&P/Asx fell 53.50 points (1.43%) to 3,682.20. U.S. futures moved slightly lower tonight, on a very small volume.

Crude oil is holding above the $40 benchmark. Crude oil for January delivery fell $0.10 to $40.70.

Gold just bounced off the 200-day moving average. Bullion for immediate delivery gained $3.20 to $853.80.