Asian equities markets mixed as others gain; crude oil prices drop

| March 9, 2007 | 0 Comments

Asian equities markets mixed as others gain; crude oil prices drop

Asian markets were mixed on Friday. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong dropped 0.21 percent on the session to 19,134.88, while the Sensex in India fell 1.26 percent to 12,884.29. On the other hand, the Straits Times Index in Singapore added 0.97 percent to 3,143.71. Tokyo’s markets were higher was well, with the Nikkei 225 0.4 percent higher to 17,164.04 and the Topix index up 0.5 percent to 1,730.31. The real estate and securities sectors saw significant gains in Tokyo.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 added 0.23 percent to 1,489.47 Friday, for a 1.3 percent gain on the week. Elsewhere in Europe, the Xetra Dax added 0.05 percent to 6,716.52, the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.25 percent to 5,537.84 and the RTS in Moscow was 2.25 percent higher to 1,808.65. The automobile manufacturing sector and banks were higher over the week, while semiconductors makers and the pharmaceutical sector were both lower on the session.

The London equities markets saw gains to end the week. The FTSE 100 gained 0.28 percent to 6,245.2, while the FTSE 250 added 0.41 percent to 11,410.6. Miners were lower, as was the pharmaceutical sector, while supermarkets saw gains and the wider retail sector were higher on the session.

In New York, midday saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 all 0.2 percent higher. The Dow stood at 12,283.21, 1.4 percent higher for the week. The Nasdaq was at 2,391.51, while the S&P had added 1.3 percent on the week to 1,404.76. Mortgage lender New Century Financial (NYSE: NEW) lost more than 18 percent to $3.05 after it said it was no longer accepting loan applications due to lack of support from its creditors.

In commodities, crude oil prices dropped on Friday on the likelihood that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will not add any new production cuts when it meets in Vienna next week. Gold was higher, but base metals dropped on the session. In Chicago, corn futures saw prices decline, but wheat futures were up after the United States Department of Agriculture left production and inventories predictions mostly unchanged from last month.

The Japanese yen ended the week with declines against the US dollar and the euro, despite sharp advances early in the week. The yen lost even more to the Australian and New Zealand dollars. The greenback, meanwhile, strengthened over the week versus the euro and sterling.

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