Asian trade: Equity markets found the strength to rise from multi-year lows, helped by the Chinese plan, to extend its stimulus bill. In the last few years, China was seen as one of the world’s powerhouses, and has the economic power to notably influence the world’s demand side.

Currently, the Chinese government is chasing an 8% growth rate, having a budget deficit forecasted to less than 3% in 2009. Despite this, the IMF and other major institutions project a slower rate of growth for the Chinese economy, somewhere from 5% to 6%, which is the lowest rate seen in the last two decades. The Chinese economy has to face the same problems as most economies from the region, a falling export market on which the economy expanded in the last few years.

Some investors pledge that the Chinese economy would develop on internal demand this year, avoiding any major losses steamed from the credit crunch. According to the latest releases from China, the economy is still resilient, to some extent, to the global slowdown. It is said that Chinese statistics are not very trust-worthy, since the Communist Party is known to “prettify” the numbers. Moreover, WSJ reports that several big Western banks are looking to recover some of the loans they made to Chinese companies in the past years, before the company calls for liquidation, something that would wipe out the loan.

Tonight, the Nikkei added 196.90 points (2.70%) to 7,487.86. The Australian S&P gained 18.60 points (0.59%) to 3,185.00.

Crude oil rose as China announced a new stimulus plan, something that is set to increase energy consumption. Crude oil for April delivery added $0.29 to $45.60.

Gold strengthened in the last sessions, dragged higher by commodity market. Bullion for immediate delivery gained $7.80 to $914.50.