Wall Street sees gains at midday amid mixed global markets
Equities in Asia and the Pacific were mixed on Friday. The Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.04 percent to 5,933.1, while in India the Sensex fell 0.17 percent to 13,285.93. On the other hand, in Hong Kong the Hang Seng gained 0.01 percent to 19,692.64 and the Straits Times index added 0.05 percent to 3,205.82. In Tokyo, The Nikkei 225 closed 0.4 percent higher to 17,480.61, while the Topix index ended 0.6 percent higher to 1,741.94.
European markets were mostly higher on the session. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 added 0.51 percent to 1,523.34. Elsewhere on the continent, the Xetra Dax gained 0.61 percent to 6,899.06, while in Paris the CAC-40 was 0.65 percent higher, to 5,634.75. The London markets were mixed, with the FTSE 100 was up 0.34 percent to 6,339.4 but the FTSE 250 was 0.05 percent lower to 11,702.
In midday trade in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial average had added 0.24 percent to 12,491.59, while the Nasdaq Composite was up just 0.03 percent to 2,452.39 and the S&P 500 was 0.21 percent higher to 1,437.57.
Crude oil prices were up after Iran captured 15 British sailors in Iraqi waters in the Persian Gulf. Gasoline futures were also higher, but heating oil and natural gas prices were both down on the day. Precious metals prices declined.
The US dollar was stronger against the euro and the Swiss franc on new data that showed sales of existing homes up by 3.9 percent in February.