Current Futures: Dow -70.00, S&P -8.70, NASDAQ -10.50
European Trade: The global equity rout continued tonight, as the Asian and European stocks moved lower. U.S. futures also moved lower, in-line with the spot markets.
The Australian senate voted against the $28 billion dollar stimulus plan, proposed by the government. The plan failed to pass by only seven votes, out of 76 possible votes. Despite this, the government has taken special measures to assure the vote will pass, adding some expenses to meet the opposition’s demands.
The Australian stimulus plan would have spent $18.5 billion on public investments, such as schools, hospitals and roads, while the rest of the money, $9.5 billion, would have been distributed to low income families. According to the Treasuries’ forecasts, the stimulus plan would have helped Australia avoid the first recession in the last two decades, adding around 1% to the economic output.
In France, Renault posted a $1.27 billion loss in the second half of 2008, almost twice as large as expected. The two French car manufacturers, Renault and Peugeot-Citroen, struggled to survive the credit crunch, as sales plunged in recent months. The French government just announced it will loan to the local car manufacturers $7.8 billion. The only condition for these funds are that the two car manufacturers, Peugeot-Citroen and Renault, would not close any French factory, or lay off employees.
The U.K. Ftse fell 50.90 points (1.20%) to 4,183.36, while the German Dax lost 61.99 points (1.37%) to 4,468.10.
Crude oil continues to move lower, as the global demand drops. Crude oil for March delivery fell $0.10 to $36.10.
Gold acted as a safe haven in the last period. Bullion for immediate delivery rose $0.30 to $937.15.
Previous Asian trade: Tonight, the Nikkei dropped 240.58 points (3.03%) to 7,705.36. The Australian S&P rose 39.90 points (1.15%) to 3,514.30.