US. equity markets were holding in positive territory Wednesday morning after Tuesday's steep declines. In recent trade, the DOW was moving 0.95% higher while the S&P was 1.14% ahead. The NASDAQ was up 1.31% on the day.

Tim Geithner, testifying at his confirmation hearing as Treasury Secretary under President Obama, told lawmakers that a bad bank to purchase and hold non-performing assets may be part of the solution for what's turning into the worst credit crisis since the Great Depression.

The good bank/bad bank-type solution has been present at the solution to most financial crises around the world, and it is very important that you look carefully that they are going to be as effective in this context as they have been in some past cases, Geithner told the Senate Finance Committee.

It is possible that something there will be part of the solution going forward. But I don't want to today provide any more details about how best we can navigate this position, Geithner said before adding that President Obama will lay out his plan to tackle the financial crisis in the next few weeks.

The dollar was trading in risk-aversion mode for a second day, with gains of 0.34% on the euro, 0.08% on Australia's dollar and 1.62% on cable while it declined by 2.02% to the yen.

Crude for March delivery was recently trading up 85 cents (2.01%) to $41.70 per barrel.

Gold for February delivery was trading lower by %8.80 (-1.03%) to $845.80 per ounce.