Asian trade: Asian markets trade in the green, as the Japanese government is preparing to support the economy. In the U.S., markets rose nearly 11% in the last three trading session helped by the financials, which appear to have been profitable in the first two months of the year.
It looks like the Japanese government is looking at ways to extend the current stimulus package. A local Japanese newspaper said that authorities are looking to add another $205 billion to the existing $100 billion stimulus. Some parts of the new stimulus would be used to fund the financial system and to support the falling Japanese stock market. If this news holds true, it should have a strong influence over the local markets. In 2009, analysts expect the Japanese economy to contract by more than 3%.
General Electric today lost its AAA rating, but this did not affect its shares. Investors saw a good buying opportunity; according to the company’s press release, the downgrade will not affect the company or its productivity . Despite the downgrade, GE shares rallied 13% today.
Tonight, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire also lost its triple-A rating. The downgrade came from Fitch, which sees additional losses stemmed from the insurers trading book in the equity and derivates markets. In 2008, Berkshire profits had already plunged more than 90% because of its derivates positions. Among investors, Warren Buffett is seen as a real-life guru, especially known for his long-term investing perspective.
Tonight, the Nikkei added 312.45 points (4.34%) to 7,510.70. The Australian S&P gained 100.10 points (3.09%) to 3,335.60.
Crude oil declined on a small volume tonight. Crude oil for April delivery fell $0.40 to $46.60
Gold retrace some ground after two days of gains. Bullion for immediate delivery fell $1.10 to $922.60.