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Saturday 22nd of November 2008
March 12, 2007

Equities markets mixed on Monday


by Elaine Frei

Equities markets mixed on Monday

Equities markets in Asia were generally higher on Monday. In India, the Sensex index added 0.14 percent to 12,902.63, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was 1.61 percent higher to 19,442.42. The Straits Times index in Singapore added 1.32 percent to 3,182.68. The Tokyo markets were higher, with the Nikkei 225 up 0.8 percent to 17,292.39 and the Topix index adding 0.6 percent to 1,741.36, with exporters helped by a weak yen and domestic sectors up for the most part.

European markets were mostly lower, the exception being the RTS in Moscow, which added 2.54 percent to 1,811.91. The Xetra Dax dropped 0.02 percent to 6,715.49, while the CAC 40 in Paris fell 0.75 percent to 5,496.07. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 0.42 percent lower, to 1,483.14. Banks and insurers were lower in Paris, hurt by troubles in the US mortgage sector.

In London, the equities markets were mixed. The FTSE 100 dropped 0.19 percent to 6,233.3, while the FTSE 250 gained 0.06 percent to 11,418. The chemicals sector was up on bids rumors, while supermarkets saw declines on the session.

Wall Street had see little movement at midday. The moves that there were left the markets mixed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average even at 12,273.12, the Nasdaq Composite up 0.1 percent to 2,388.94, and the S&P 500 0.1 percent lower to 1,400.93. The mortgage sector was lower after trade in New Century Financial (NYSE: NEW) was suspended after it said it couldn’t afford demands by creditors to repurchase defaulted mortgages. Homebuilders were also affected by the mortgage sector’s issues.

Oil prices were lower Monday, with West Texas Intermediate crude down over $1 per barrel late in the morning in New York. With temperatures forecast to rise in much of the US over the next couple of weeks, heating oil and natural gas futures were also lower. Gasoline futures were also down, helped by expectations that OPEC will not announce any more production cuts at its meeting Thursday in Vienna.

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