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Bombing in Philippines rattles investors

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News of an explosion outside the Davao City airport terminal in the southern Philippines, which killed at least 15 people and injured 54 others sent Asian and pacific rim markets lower and looks to have equity futures here in the U.S. following.

Authorities say the blast occurred Tuesday at the Davao City airport on southern Mindanao Island. Witnesses say the explosion happened just moments after a domestic flight touched down.

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo condemned the blast, and called an emergency Cabinet meeting.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the blast, but Philippine military officials have blamed the Muslim militant Moro Islamic Liberation Front for previous bombings.

The rebels, who have fought for a Muslim homeland on Mindanao for decades, were blamed for last month's car-bomb explosion at an airport in the Mindanao city of Cotabato.

The news cast a cloud of bearishness in Asian markets and those around the Pacific Rim lower, yet the Philippines PSE Composite holds a marginal 0.14% gain.

Yesterday's news of North Korean jets intercepting a U.S. spy plane over international waters had South Korea's Seoul Composite leading the declines with a -2.28%, while war tensions in the Middle East saw selling in Pakistan's Karachi 100, which fell 2.92%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.94%, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.12%

Here in the U.S., Treasuries are seeing a mixed session early, with the March 30-year Treasury futures (us03h) $115'270 -0.02% off fractionally, while the 10-year (ty03h) $117'005 +0.09% and 5-year (fv03h) $114'170 +0.06% seeing fractional gains. The benchmark 10-year bond's YIELD ($TNX.X) 3.668% fell to a morning low of 3.647%.

Stock futures have rebounded from their lows of the session as S&P futures (sp03h) trade down just 1.7 points at 833.70 after dipping to 830.30 within the past hour. NASDAQ futures (nd03h) currently trade lower by 3.5 points at 989, while Dow futures edge lower by 23 points at 7,820.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $-0.16. That price will not change during the session. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $0.62 and set for program selling at $-1.72.

In a morning call, Deutsche Bank downgraded out makers General Motors (NYSE:GM) $33.16 and Ford (NYSE:F) $8.07, along with auto parts manufacturers Delphi (NYSE:DPH) $7.70 and Visteon (NYSE:VC) $6.27 to "sell" from "hold," citing increased pessimism on the risk to profitability for the auto industry over the next few years.

Jeff Bailey

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