Global equities markets see gains; yen weakens

| March 19, 2007

Global equities markets see gains; yen weakens

Asian equities markets were higher on Monday, many rising by more than a full percentage point on the session. The Straits Times index in Singapore added 1.25 percent to 3,115.92, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong gained 1.65 percent to 19,266.74 and in India the Sensex was 1.73 percent higher to 12,644.99. In Japan, meanwhile, the Nikkei 225 added 1.6 percent to 17,009.55 and the Topix index was 1 percent higher to 1,694.08.

In Europe, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 1.4 percent higher to 1,475.39. Other European indices also saw gains. In Moscow, the RTS added 1.05 percent to 1,828.23, while the Dax gained 1.39 percent to 6,671.41 and the CAC 40 gained 1.43 percent to 5,458.95 in Paris. London markets were higher as well, with the FTSE 100 0.96 percent higher to 6,189.4 and the FTSE 250 1.5 percent higher to 11,438.70, a gain of just over 169 points.

Early afternoon saw Wall Street higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had gained 0.92 percent to 12,221.69, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.86 percent to 2,393.09 and the S&P 500 was 1 percent higher to 1,400.83.

In commodities, crude oil prices were slightly higher as Brent crude added 64 cents by late afternoon in London, to $60.94 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate crude was 24 cents higher to $57.35 per barrel at early afternoon in New York. Gasoline futures were up five cents per gallon to their highest price since last August. In metals markets, nickel touched $50,000 per tonne briefly before falling back. Copper and tin prices were also higher.

The yen weakened during the day, while the Chinese renminbi was at its highest level versus the US dollar since the Chinese renminbi was revalued in July 2005. Sterling was stronger on the session, while several European currencies that are candidates to join the euro were higher versus the shared currency.


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