Equities markets trend upward

Equities markets trend upward

Equities markets in Asia and the Pacific were up on Tuesday. In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries were 0.29 percent higher to 5,856.5. The Straits Times index in Singapore, meanwhile, added 0.3 percent to 3,125.28, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong gained 0.47 percent to 19,356.9. In India, the Sensex was up 0.48 percent to 12,705.94. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.9 percent to 17,163.2, while the Topix index added 0.8 percent to 1,708.29.

Most European equities markets were higher, the exception being the RTS in Moscow, which dropped 0.28 percent to 1,823.2. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 gained 0.79 percent to 1,487.69. In Frankfurt, the Dax added 0.43 percent to 6,700.29, while the CAC 40 in Paris was 0.81 percent higher to 5,503.27. Londona��s markets were higher as well, with the FTSE 100 0.5 percent higher to 6,220.3 and the FTSE 250 up 0.18 percent to 11,459.3.

Wall Street was higher at midday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5 percent to 12,281.37, the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.7 percent to 2,410.48, and the S&P 500 was 0.6 percent higher to 1,410.18.

Prices for crude oil were mixed, with April contracts West Texas Intermediate crude up 1 cent to $56.60 per barrel at midday in New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for May delivery, on the other hand, dropped 13 cents to $60.39 on the Intercontinental Exchange in London. Prices for copper, tin, and nickel were all down on the day.

The Japanese yen was stronger on an announcement by Chinaa��s central bank that it will no longer continue to stockpiles its foreign exchange reserves. Sterling was also stronger, on a new report on inflation in the UK. The US dollar weakened on the strength of other currencies and after housing starts data was up but permit applications for future construction were lower in February.

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