Asian markets rose tonight, helped by the Treasury hearings. U.S. futures moved lower, but the market moved on light volume. 

“Asian markets appear surrounded by optimism after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said most banks have more capital than they need to be considered well capitalized. The biggest gainers in the Asian markets were the financial sectors and the car-manufacturers. The car industry was helped as well by a newspaper report saying that Honda beat earnings forecasts. However, the report was never confirmed, “TheLFB-Forex.com Trade Team said. “The same outcome had a report saying that the Japanese government might take a $300 million stake in Pioneer, as the company’s financial situation is getting worse,” they added.

TheLFB-Forex.com noted, “Pioneer shares were suspended from trading in the first few minutes, but jumped 25% shortly after the green light was given. Additionally, the biggest maker of computer chips in Japan, Elpida Memory, surged more than 15% after they said they had plans to lift prices. “ 

Remaining in Japan, a report showed that the trade balance remained negative for the eight month in a row. However, there are some signs that the pace of contraction is starting to slow down. From one year ago, exports are down by a whopping 45.6% in March, after hitting an absolute low one monthprior. 

Overnight, the Nikkei added 49.01 points (0.56%) to 8,760.34. The Australian S&P/Asx rose 4.80 points (0.13%) to 3,682.20. 

Crude oil for May delivery was recently trading at $48.90 per barrel, up by $0.40.

Gold for May delivery was recently trading up by $1.40 to $884.10.