Asian trade: Asian markets are trading higher, helped by the very strong gains seen in the U.S. markets, where the major indexes gained almost 7%.
U.S. markets were pulled higher by the Treasury’s plan to revive the mortgage and toxic asset markets by providing non-recourse loans to private investors. However, despite the joy experienced by the equity traders, most analysts and economists did not appear impressed by the new plan.
The financials led the gains in the U.S. markets, as the Treasury is preparing to buy as much as $1 trillion of distressed assets. The S&P 500 rose 7.08%, capping its biggest 10-day gain since 1938. Additionally, the MSCI World Index rose tonight for the ninth time in the last ten days, gaining around 20% over this period.
In the mean time, some of the banks that needed to be bailed out remain in the spotlight. After causing a little riot in the Congress because of its bonuses, AIG announced that nine of the top ten beneficiaries agreed to return the money. Out of the $165 million paid in bonuses for AIG’s activity in the last year, when it needed to be bailed out four times by the U.S. government, the insurer recovered $50 million and is probably (but not likely) to recover another $30 million.
Learning from other’s mistakes, J.P. Morgan took a different approach when deciding what is best for its employees. The bank, which received $25 billion in TARP funds, is going to buy two luxury corporate jets, worth of $120 million and build an $18 million hangar for them. This is great news for the two, especially when they are surviving on the taxpayer’s money.
Tonight, the Nikkei rose 187.35 points (2.28%) to 8,402.88. The Australian S&P/Asx added 53.40 points (1.50%) to 3,603.70.
Crude oil moved somewhere lower in the Asian session, after touching a new high earlier in the day. Crude oil for April delivery fell $0.50 to $53.55.
Gold declined on positive equity markets. Bullion for immediate delivery fell $9.20 to $943.30.