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Monday, March 23, 2009

Stock Market News, Financial News - Mar 23, 2009

Tata Nano to hit roads in July

By Janaki Krishnan

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The Nano, the world's cheapest car, will hit Indian roads in July, four months after its formal launch on Monday, and demand is expected to far outstrip supply as the price tag of around $2,000 draws legions of new buyers.

Hundreds of thousands are expected to put their name down for Tata Motors' Nano, including many previously limited to motorbikes or public transport.  (More ...)

U.S. lays out plan to attract buyers for toxic debt

By David Lawder and Glenn Somerville

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday rolled out detailed plans for persuading private investors to help rid banks of up to $1 trillion in toxic assets that are seen as a roadblock to economic recovery.

Generous government financing will underpin the so-called Public-Private Investment Program, which Treasury will kick off with $75-$100 billion that comes from its existing $700-billion bailout fund approved by Congress last fall.  (More ...)

Vodafone, Telefonica to share Europe networks

Financial Express

Vodafone and Telefonica have agreed to share network infrastructure in four European countries to meet a surge in demand for mobile broadband while saving hundreds of millions of pounds in costs.

The agreement announced on Monday, the biggest of its kind to cover multiple countries, is a sign of the urgency to save money and also of the success of flat-rate data packages in stimulating demand for Internet access on the go.  (More ...)

IMF says clean banks before crisis can be solved

GENEVA (Reuters) - The economic crisis cannot be resolved until the banking sector is cleaned up, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.  (More ...)

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ADVFN World Daily Markets Bulletin (excerpts)

US Stocks at a Glance

Major Averages Rally To New Highs For The Session

Stocks are showing significant strength during mid-morning trading on Monday, as investors cheer the new plan for fixing the downtrodden banking sector. Some strong earnings in the retail sector and existing home sales figures are also helping to drive stocks higher.

Earlier in the day, Treasury Secretary Geithner announced his plan to help the troubled banking industry. The plan will involve setting up an investment fund to buy mortgage-related securities and other assets that are driving down the balance sheets at the banks.

The new Public Private Investment Program would combine taxpayer money with private funds, aiming to buy loans and free up banks to renew lending.

On the economic front, existing home sales for the month of February came in considerably better than analysts had anticipated, rising to a rate of 4.72 million from a pace of 4.49 million units in January. Economists had expected sales to slip to a 4.45 million unit rate.

The major averages have seen some further upside in recent trading, rising to new highs for the session. The Dow is currently up 276.22 at 7,554.60, the Nasdaq is up 51.03 at 1,508.30 and the S&P 500 is up 28.73 at 797.27.

European Shares

Barclays boosted by iShares talk

Financials and miners are leading London’s advance as the market awaits an announcement later today by US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in which he is expected to give more details of the US government's stimulus plans.

With further help for the banking system expected to be announced by Geithner, banks are understandably in demand. Barclays is higher on talk that it could conclude a sale of iShares business for £5bn as early as this week. Barclays bear Sandy Chen at Panmure Gordon is unimpressed, and said his 40p price target for Barclays could be cut if the bank offloads iShares.

Asia Markets

Asian markets advance on stimulus expectations; resource, financials gain

The major markets across the Asia-Pacific region advanced on Monday, led by resources and financial stocks, on higher commodity prices. Hopes of a stimulus package from Japan to revive the economy, announcement from China that it would meet its growth target and expectations of initiatives from U.S to unclog the credit markets and remove the toxic assets from the banks' balance sheets, more than offset the weaker closing in Wall Street on Friday.

In Asian trading, crude oil futures for May delivery, in their first day as a front-month contract, are currently at $52.67 a barrel, up $0.60. On Friday, the April futures expired at $51.06 a barrel, up $0.55 from their previous close.

Commodities

Gold Prices Edge Lower Again

Gold prices inched lower again in early trading on Monday, giving back a little more of last Thursday's massive rally. Trading took place amid the release of details of a new government plan to subsidize private investors' purchase of toxic assets on the books of troubled banks.

April-dated gold fell to $947.50, down $8.70 for the session. Prices dipped as low as $947.20 after earlier trading at $958.10.

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