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While you were sleeping: BusinessWire overnight wrap

Tuesday 18th November 2008

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Citigroup plans to slash 50,000 jobs, adding to 23,000 it has already eliminated to reduce costs after four quarters of losses. Its shares fell about 3%, bringing its slide in the past week to 19%.

The job cuts bring to more than 200,000 positions lost from banks and brokerages since the sub-prime mortgage market meltdown last year, according to a Bloomberg estimate.

Manufacturing in New York shrank this month at a record pace on dwindling orders and sales. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State index slid to minus 25.4 from minus 24.6 percent last month.

The US economy, the world's biggest, is poised to slide into recession this year, according to economists, and the slump may extend into 2009, a poll by the National Association for Business Economics shows. The predictions follow figures in Japan yesterday showing the world's No. 2 economy has already succumbed to recession.

The outgoing administration of George Bush won't draw down the remaining US$350 billion of the US$700 billion financial-rescue package after a request from President-elect Barack Omama to leave it intact, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the situation. Obama takes office on January 20.

The US dollar declined against the euro after the New York manufacturing figures.

The dollar fell to $1.2690 per euro from $1.2605. It weakened to 96.93 yen from 97.14. The yen fell to 123.02 per euro from 122.39.

The manufacturing slump help lift US Treasury bonds. The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell 6 basis points to 3.67% and the yield on the two-year notes fell two basis points to 1.2%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4% to 8461.86 and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 0.2% to 871.62. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3% to 1512.67. Alcoa led the Dow lower, falling 8% to US$9.97 after UBS AG lowered its rating on the stock and amid speculation China may increase shipments. Bank of America declined 5.4% to US$15.54 and Walt Disney dropped 3.5% to US$20.33.

Exxon Mobil Corp. gained 2.1% to US$75.19 even as the price of oil fell, as some investors deemed energy stocks relatively good value after their recent slide.

Crude oil fell to near a 21 month low on the prospects of waning demand as the global economy slumps. Crude for December delivery fell 3.2% to US$55.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold fell as a gain in the US dollar reduced demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment. Gold futures for December delivery fell 50 cents to US$742 an ounce in New York.

Aluminum fell to a three year low after China said it would reduce tariffs on some shipments to just 5% from 15% next month, which may stock global supplies. Aluminum for delivery in three months fell 2.1% to US$1,888 a metric ton on the LME. Copper fell more than 3% to US$3,685 a ton.

European stocks fell following confirmation japan's economy is in recession. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index fell 2.6% to 200.37. The DAX 30 Index fell 3.3% to 4557.27 in Germany, led by declines in Volkswagen, Deutsche Borse and Lufthansa. France's CAC 40 fell 3.3% to 3182.03 and BNP Paribas tumbled 6%. The FTSE 100 Index declined 2.4% to 4132.16, led by a 14% tumble in HBOS and a 12% drop by Royal Bank of Scotland.

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