Global equities markets in gains
Asian equities markets were higher on Thursday, but analysts weren’t entirely prepared to say that the declines from the past few sessions were over. Still, some of the gains were substantial. The Sensex in India added 3.73 percent to 13,049.35, a gain of 469.6 points on the session. Hong Kong and Singapore weren’t up quite as much, but the Hang Seng gained 1.36 percent to 19,175.17, while the Straits Times Index in Singapore was 1.65 percent higher to 3,122.49. In Tokyo, meanwhile, the Nikkei 225 and the Topix index each added 1.9 percent, to 17,090.31 and 1,720.96 respectively. In Tokyo the oil sector gained on higher oil prices, while electronics companies were up on broker comments.
The European markets saw gains, as well. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 1.28 percent higher to 1,486.1, while Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax added 1.44 percent to 6,7;13.23 and the CAC 40 in Paris gained 1.27 percent to 5,524.26. In Moscow, the RTS was up 0.2 percent to 1,767.1. Irish banks saw gains on the session as corporate earnings reports were in focus. In the Eurozone, the European Central Bank raised interest rates to 3.75 percent, a move that had been expected by most analysts.
London also saw advances in its equities markets. The FTSE 100 gained 1.16 percent to 6,227.7, while the FTSE 250 added 1.6 percent to 11,363.8. The mining sector was substantially higher on higher prices for metals. Banks were higher, as well. The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee decided to leave UK interest rates at 5.25 percent for the time being, as most analysts had believed they would.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had added 0.8 percent by midday to 12,293.39. The Nasdaq Composite was 1.1 percent higher to 2,400.01, while the S&P 500 had gained 1 percent to 1,406.23. The retail sector was mixed, with discount retailers steady to lower, while more upscale retailers saw gains. Citigroup (NYSE: C) was higher on speculation that it would be making more bids in Asia.
Prices for crude oil were lower late in London and at late morning in New York, but remained above $60 per barrel for both Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate crude. Base metals were up, with nickel adding $850 on the day and hitting another record high during the session. Gold was $7 higher. In other commodities, wheat was steady even though Argentina had temporarily suspended exports to make sure domestic supplies were secure. Hog futures were up 3 cents to 68.68 cents per pound, the maximum allowable daily rise on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange after it raised the limit on the number of contracts investors can hold by 25 percent.
On currencies markets, the yen weakened substantially against a number of currencies. The Swiss franc was also lower. The euro weakened after the European Central Bank’s decision to raise Eurozone interest rates to 3.75 percent and sterling weakened against the US dollar after the Bank of England held UK interest rates at 5.25 percent for another month.