European stocks retreated for a sixth day. Asian markets, however, rose
modestly Wednesday, as exporters like Sony Corp. recovered from the
previous day's sell-off.
Asian markets rose slightly Wednesday in light trading as traders remained cautious over company earnings.
Major indices in Tokyo and Hong Kong gained three-tenths of a percent on the day.
In Europe, banks continued to be battered by bad news, dragging down other sectors.
is feeling the cold wind of change. It plans to cut 2,100 jobs
across its investment banking and management units; about seven percent
of the bank's entire workforce.
Here in London, the British
government has announced a plan to help struggling small and
medium-sized businesses that are not getting the lines of credit they
used to get from commercial banks.
Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said the $29 billion program is crucial and it is being rolled out immediately.
addresses the problem at the heart of the credit crunch - finance for
viable businesses," he said. "U.K. businesses are the backbone of our
economy, so it is vital that the government should act now. We are
absolutely determined to do everything we can to support viable
companies through this global downturn which reflects the importance of
the measures that are going live today alongside the other measures
that the government will continue to take in order to get the banks
back into proper working order and the rest of the economy brought
through this downturn as quickly and as painlessly as possible."
Mandelson says half of the money will come from the Treasury department, the other half from the major banks.
by professional fund managers, it will provide equity investment to
companies with viable business models that have exhausted traditional
forms of finance. They will be able to use the capital to restructure
their balance sheets and invest for growth," he said.
It is similar to a program that has been pushed by the opposition Conservative party but on a smaller scale.
is a measure that undoubtedly will be followed closely by other
countries and it may be adopted elsewhere if it proves to be successful
in bridging the current small business loan gap.