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Premarket: Treasury plan boosts stocks Add to ...

Global stock market indexes were up sharply on Monday morning, after the U.S. Treasury Department unveiled details surrounding its attempt to remove toxic assets from the balance sheets of troubled financial firms.

With about an hour before markets open, U.S. stock index futures were up, suggesting that stocks will rise at the start of trading. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were up 182 points, to 7397. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 19 points, to 783.

Financials were especially strong, with Citigroup Inc. up 24 per cent in premarket activity, Bank of America Corp. up 16 per cent and American International Group Inc. up 21 per cent. General Electric Co., which has been hobbled by its extensive financial operations, rose 6 per cent.

In Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.8 per cent and Germany's DAX index was up 1.2 per cent in afternoon trading. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 3.4 per cent in overnight trading.

The Treasury's public-private investment program will be armed with $500-billion of purchasing power to buy up the toxic assets, and that amount could double in time. Private fund managers are expecting to contribute the other half of the money required. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will hold auctions for the pools of loans, which will then be managed by private investors.

Meanwhile, in Canada, investors will be mulling over the details of Suncor Energy Inc.'s agreement to buy Petro-Canada for about $17-billion - a deal made official by both companies on Monday morning. The deal will give Suncor more assets beyond the Alberta oil sands, given that Petro-Canada has assets in the North Sea, Libya and Syria.


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