Australia slashed interest rates Tuesday, presaging cuts expected in Europe later this week in the face of mounting evidence that the global financial crisis has already pushed much of the world into a damaging recession.
Australia's central bank cut its benchmark cash rate by a bigger-than-expected 75 basis points on Tuesday, in an increasingly urgent effort to save the economy from the recession rapidly engulfing much of the developed world.
The follwing is the text of the Reserve Bank of Australia's statement after it cut interest rates at its monthly policy meeting on Tuesday.
This October could be the worst month ever for global markets. But with the month coming to an end and investors still fearful of a deep, prolonged recession, what will be the other shoe to drop? CNBC's experts weigh in.
Asian markets traded higher Thursday, with the Nikkei 225 Average closing almost 10 percent higher. CNBC's experts believe the index can keep climbing, while the rally in Western markets may be shortlived.
Stock markets have been boosted by rallies but investors should trade with care, experts recommend.
Markets may be up Tuesday, but the economic outlook remains grim. CNBC's experts share their views on where the economy is headed and how long it will take to recover.
The yen continued to gain Monday even after the Group of Seven warned the Japanese currency posed a threat to financial and economic stability. CNBC's experts weigh in on whether now is the time to buy the currency.
The strong dollar has left some international firms in a tailspin, rather unexpectedly.
Markets do not trust the governments' plans to keep struggling banks alive and investors will only calm down when the companies with bad assets are allowed to go bankrupt, legendary investor Jim Rogers, CEO of Rogers Holdings, told CNBC on Friday.
For the week ending Friday, October 3, 2008, the major U.S. Indices declined steeply on continued uncertainties over the financial bailout / rescue plan, concerns in the credit markets and more economic deterioration.
For the week ending Friday, September 26, 2008, the major U.S. Indices tumbled for the week as uncertainty lingered over the Congressional $700B bailout package. We also witnessed a historic bank failure, unsatisfying housing data, a continued rise in jobless claims, and a record one-day gain in the price of crude. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite shed more than 3% for the week. The NASDAQ had the worst weekly performance amongst the three major indices, losing 3.98%, followed by S&P 500 which lost 3.3%, marking their biggest weekly drops since the start of Sept. for the NASDAQ & since mid May for the S&P.
For the historic week ending Friday, September 19, 2008, the major U.S. Indices managed to close mixed and almost flat after one of the most volatile trading weeks ever, driven by the collapse of investment bank, Lehman Brothers, enormous government actions around the globe, and billion dollar deal making. In one week, the government bailed out AIG, pumped funds into money markets, and banned short selling of financials - all while keeping the Fed Funds target unchanged and taking unprecedented actions to halt the liquidity crisis. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) surpassed the benchmark level of 30, hitting an intraday high of 42.16 on Thursday, its highest level since 10/2002. The major indices were all up and down +/- 3% for 4 of the past 5 days. The Dow posted a 2 day point move of more than 778 points as of Friday’s close, after plummeting 811 between Monday and Wednesday and hitting 10,609.66, its lowest level since 11/9/2005. On Friday, The Nasdaq Composite recorded a 2-day point move of greater than 175 points after it closed down 109.05 points on Wednesday, its first triple digit decline for one day since it began trading after the 9/11 attacks. The S&P 500 flirted with record territory closing up 98.7 over the last two days, marking its biggest 2-day point move since 3/16/2000, the largest 2-day point move ever.
For the week ending Friday, September 2, 2008, the major U.S. Indices finished up for a week marked with the demise of more financial stocks, sluggish Retail Sales data, a steeper than expected decline in Pending Home Sales, and a looming hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Volatility continues to dominate the markets as the Dow posted a 2 day consecutive up/down point move of 569 points on Monday and Tuesday (up 289 and then down 280), its largest 2-day up/down point swing since June 6. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) which measures market uncertainty reached an intraday high of 26.67 on Friday.
For the week ending Friday, September 5, 2008, the U.S. markets ended in negative territory for the week after weak employment data and declines in auto and retail sales pointed to weaker consumer spending and a greater economic slowdown. The unemployment rate jumped to a 5-year high, soaring to 6.1%. On Thursday, the three major Indices fell back into bear market territory by dropping 20% from their market peaks set last fall. Both the Dow & Nasdaq Composite had their worst daily closes since July 26, with drops of more than 340 points for the Dow and 75 points for the Nasdaq.
The European Central Bank looks set to leave rates on hold on Thursday but the move is unlikely to contribute to a strengthening of the euro, as the signs of weakness in the euro zone economy intensify. Vote on which currency will gain the most by the end of the year.
The dollar rose on Monday to its highest this year against a basket of major currencies, boosted by a sharp fall in oil prices, while sterling extended its recent slide and fell to new record lows against the euro.
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said on Monday that he had decided to resign in an effort to break a political deadlock.
For the week and month ending Friday, August 29, 2008, the major U.S. Indices ended slightly lower for the week but up for the month. The markets had a volatile week, sinking first on housing price drops and an up-tick in oil prices, then rallying on better-than-expected GDP numbers, and finally falling to end the week on worse-than-expected personal income and spending data. The Dow hit a 200+ point rally on Thursday, its largest one day gain since 8/8. The NASDAQ led the indices to the downside this week, down nearly 2%. For the August close, the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P all finished up 1.5% or more, marking the best monthly gain since April for the Dow & S&P, and best month for the Nasdaq since May.
The U.S. dollar rallied against a currency basket Friday, on track for its best monthly gain in nearly 16 years, boosted by a batch of data showing a far more stable growth path for the United States than the rest of the world.