After hovering around even most of the day, the US market fell late in the day, as prospects appeared to weaken for the approval of a USD15 billion rescue plan for the troubled auto industry ,after a key Republican senator opposed the measure. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 196.33 (-2.24%) to 8565.09 points. The Nasdaq decreased 38.12 (-3.12%) to 1183.47 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 10.93 (-2.52%) to 422.32.
European share markets traded quietly yesterday. The FTSE gained +21.41 (+0.49%) closing at 4388.69, the DAX 30 fell -37.68 (-0.78%) to 4767.2, and the CAC 40 also lost ground closing at 3306.13, losing -14.18 (-0.43%).
Asia Pacific share markets also performed modestly on Thursday. The Hong Kong Hang Seng rose 36.16 points (+0.23%) to 15613.9, the Tokyo Nikkei rose 60.31 (+0.70%) to 8720.55, while the Australian ASX200 fell 42.7 (-1.17%) to 3598.
STOP PRESS Asia Pacific 12-Dec-08
Australia's ASX200 index fell 87.6 points (-2.43%) to 3510.4 by close of business.
Asian stocks were generally down, as the shrinking financial sector, uncertainty over a U.S. carmaker bailout and economic malaise doused the bargain hunting that had helped to drive up shares in the last week.
Japan's Nikkei (-5.9%) fell -484.68 points to 8,235.87.
In afternoon trading the Hang Seng (-5.9%) was down 1076.69 at 14537.21.
Oil prices slipped for the first time in three days to trade around $47 a barrel after surging on Thursday on calls for "severe" production cuts by OPEC's president, while the U.S. dollar tried to recover from an overnight rout that knocked it to a seven-week low against the euro.
Oil prices rallied on 11-Dec-08 gaining USD4.46 a barrel (+10.25%) closing at USD47.98 a barrel, as the International Energy Agency predicted global growth in oil demand would resume in 2009 and the Saudi oil minister said it pumped less oil than expected last month.
Airline share prices
US Airways continued its dizzy swings (-10.7%), fluctuating 30% in value in two days, leading the market down.
Investors seem to have got it into their heads that if the auto industry is bailed out then so will the airlines. So, when the carmakers ran into a roadbump in the Senate yesterday - and the market as a whole turned down, the airlines were even further down the runway than most others.
Only the sanity of the Canadian market - and the quality of the carrier - saw Westjet (+2.6%) continue its love affair with investors.
North America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 11-Dec-08