A look at financial developments and what happened in some stock markets around the world Wednesday:
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Sweden’s Parliament approved a 1.5 trillion kronor ($200 billion) rescue package for the nation’s financial sector. The measure allows the government to give the money in credit guarantees to banks and mortgage lenders to improve liquidity amid the global financial turmoil. It also creates a 15 billion kronor ($2 billion) “stability fund” to bail out any Swedish banks that run into solvency problems.
FRANKFURT, Germany – Germany’s DAX was slightly lower though after a 40 percent slump in Volkswagen AG shares. VW’s biggest shareholder Porsche AG said it will offer some stock to ease liquidity constraints that had pushed up VW shares fivefold in the preceding two days. The DAX closed 14.76 points, or 0.3 percent, down at 4,808.69.
BUDAPEST, Hungary – Hungary’s stock market rose on word of an aid package of up to $25.1 billion from the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the World Bank.
The IMF will provide a 17-month standby loan of $15.7 billion (12.5 billion euros), the European Union is ready to lend Hungary $8.1 billion (6.5 billion euros), and the World Bank will give $1.3 billion (1 billion euros) to keep Hungary’s economy from collapsing. The benchmark BUX stock index closed up 14 percent and the Hungarian forint rose against the euro and dollar.
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine stocks rebounded, ending five days of losses. The Philippine Stock Exchange index rose 76.23 points, or 4.47 percent, to 1,780.64, after plummeting 15 percent in the last five sessions.
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean stocks ended a volatile day lower as investors reacted nervously to a media report the country had been offered assistance by the IMF – which the government denied. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 30.19 points, or 3 percent, to 968.97. At one point, it surged as much as 7.9 percent – and later it sank by the same margin.
HONG KONG – Hong Kong stocks rose after a huge rally the day before, but the market trimmed its gains as investors cashed in profits. The blue-chip Hang Seng Index closed up 105.78 points, or 0.84 percent, to 12,702.07, building on Tuesday’s spectacular 14.4 rise – the biggest percentage gain in nearly 11 years.
SHANGHAI, China – Chinese shares fell back, as a brief-lived rally fizzled amid a resurgence of pessimism over the economic outlook. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index shed 2.94 percent, or 52.01 points, to 1,719.81. It had gained 2.8 percent the day before, tracking a regional recovery. The smaller Shenzhen Composite Index shrank 2.26 percent on Wednesday to 472.36.
TOKYO – Japanese shares rose for a second day, with buying triggered by the dollar’s rebound against the yen and strong gains booked overnight on Wall Street. After an up-and-down session, the benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index ended up 7.7 percent, or 589.98 points, at 8,211.90, retaking the psychologically key 8,000 plateau for the first time in a week. That follows a 6.4 percent gain Tuesday.