The Federal Reserve has announced that most U.S. financial
service providers passed an annual stress test designed to assess
whether they can withstand a financial shock similar to the
financial meltdown of 2008. However, four institutions, including
), the third-largest U.S. bank, failed the test.
Nevertheless, markets across Europe responded positively to the
announcement along with news that Italy held a successful bond
By midday, London's FTSE had risen 0.35%, the German DAX had
surged 1.11% and the French CAC 40 had appreciated 0.73%. The
euro slipped 0.08% to $1.3065 and the British pound appreciated
0.03% to $1.5708.
Asia was a more mixed story.
The Shanghai Composite (
) slumped 2.63%. Speaking at the conclusion of an annual meeting
of China's National People's Congress, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao
said that while the yuan may be reaching an "equilibrium," the
government would work towards allowing the currency to float more
freely as part of efforts to reform its currency policy.
Wen also told journalists that
of 7.5% growth would put China on a more sustainable pace of
Meanwhile in Hong Kong, the Hang Sang dipped 0.15%. The
territory's main air carrier, Cathay Pacific (
), announced it made $700 million in profits last year, a 61%
drop from 2010. The carrier's passenger numbers and cargo
shipments have slipped amid the global economic uncertainty.
The Nikkei (
) jumped 1.53%. Japanese automakers were up during Wednesday
trading, with shares of Toyota and Honda surging 2.05% and 2.74%,
Seoul's KOSPI (
) got a boost of 0.99%. Meanwhile, Australian stocks (
) climbed 0.90% and in Singapore, shares (
) were up 1.25%.
The Chinese yuan rose 0.08% to 6.3315 to the dollar, while the
Japanese yen appreciated 0.81% to 83.56 against the