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While you were sleeping: BusinessWire overnight wrap

Wednesday 26th November 2008

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The US Federal Reserve announced a further US$800 billion in funding programs to thaw the credit market, buying mortgage-related debt and targeting loans for small businesses and consumers.

The economic stimulus package was announced after President-elect Barack Obama said the US may lose millions of jobs if aid wasn't made available to revive the world's biggest economy.

The additional funds weren't enough to bolster US stocks, which were mixed after a report by UBS AG said demand for computer-rated products is weakening, driving down prices of Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems.

The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3% to 1467.21, with Hewlett-Packard down more than 7%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9% to 8521.12 and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 1% to 860.6.

US Treasuries rose on the prospects of Federal Reserve purchases of mortgages as investors sought a hedge against losses.

The yield on 10-year Treasuries dropped 24 basis points to 3.09%. The yield on 30-year Treasuries fell 15 basis points to 3.63%.

The US economy contracted more than initially estimated in the third quarter as consumer spending tumbled and access to loans dried up. Gross domestic product shrank a 0.5 percent annual pace last quarter, according to the Commerce Department, bigger than the 0.3% estimate made last month.

Crude oil fell on speculation a report this week will show rising US inventories amid waning demand in a weakening economy.

Crude for January delivery fell 6.7% to US$50.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Nickel, used to make stainless steel, and copper declined. Nickel for delivery in three months fell 2.6% to US$10,400 a ton in London and is down 60% this year.

The yen strengthened against the euro and the US dollar as some investors exited higher-yielding assets funded with loans in Japan's currency.

The yen rose to 95.47 per dollar in New York from 97.34. It gained to 124.10 per euro from 126.08.

In Europe, French business confidence tumbled to a 15-year low and consumer confidence in Italy extended its slide. Insee, the French government statistician, reported its index of sentiment among French manufacturers fell to 80 this month, the lowest in 15 years.

European stocks rose for a second day, led by financials and construction firms.

Credit Suisse Group, Barclays Plc and Societe Generale led the advance.

The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index rose 0.7% to 198.79.

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