Japan's stock market finished its worst year in history today after the world's second-largest economy was buffeted by the global financial crisis, a deepening recession and a soaring currency, The Telegraph reports.
The country's benchmark Nikkei 225 ends the year down 42%, exceeding a 39% drop recorded during the recession of 1990 when the economy was battling deflation. The Nikkei closed early this afternoon and does not re-open until January 5.
"This year was a total disaster," said Tsuyoshi Nomaguchi, a strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo. "Nobody expected it to fall as much as it did."
JAPAN IS REPORTEDLY planning an ambitious scheme to relieve the country's banks of trillions of yen in bad loans in a desperate attempt to breathe life back into the ailing economy, according to The Guardian.
The Sankei Shimbun, a daily broadsheet, reported today that the government and the Bank of Japan are considering spending $110bn (£75bn) on bad loans and assets, such as corporate debt, stocks, commercial paper and derivatives.
The report, which did not name its sources, comes soon after gloomy data predicted a troubled year ahead for the world's second biggest economy, which has already slid into recession and faces a period of deflation next year for the second time in a decade.
THE US TREASURY committed $6bn (£4.1bn) to support GMAC, the financing arm of General Motors, widening the government's effort to keep the country's largest motor manufacturer out of bankruptcy, The Telegraph also reports.
The Treasury will purchase a $5bn stake in GMAC and lend $1bn to GM so the carmaker can contribute to the lender's reorganization as a bank holding company, according to a statement issued yesterday.
The loan is in addition to $13.4bn the Treasury agreed earlier this month to lend to GM and Chrysler.IFAonline
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