Wall Street declines on Fed minutes

| April 11, 2007 | 0 Comments
Wall Street declines on Fed minutes

Equities markets in the Asia and Pacific region were mixed on Wednesday. Both the Sensex in India and the Sydney Ordinaries in Australia dropped 0.05 percent on the session, to 13,183.24 and 6,136.1 respectively. The Straits Times index in Singapore was 0.16 percent higher to 3,420.62, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong added 0.5 percent to 20,449.43. In Tokyo, the equities markets ended the session higher, but not by much. The Nikkei 225 was up just 0.03 percent to 17,670.07, while the Topix index gained 0.19 percent to 1,739.01.

European markets turned lower on the session. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 0.07 percent lower to 1,547.24, while the Xetra Dax was down 0.19 percent in Frankfurt, to 7,152.83 and in Paris the CAC-40 dropped 0.25 percent to 5,751.92. In London, both the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 saw declines. The 100 dropped 0.07 percent to 6,413.3, while the 250 was 0.3 percent lower to 11,955.3.

Down a bit at midday, Wall Street dropped even further in afternoon trading after the minutes of the most recent meeting of the Federal Reserve were released. The minutes included comments that indicated that new interest rate hikes could be coming soon in an attempt to slow inflation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.75 percent lower to 12,479.26, while the Nasdaq Composite had dropped 0.77 percent to 2,458.48 and the S&P 500 was down 0.61 percent to 1,439.51.

Crude oil prices were higher after new inventories figures from the US Energy Information Administration showed gasoline stockpiles fell much more than had been anticipated in the week ending April 6. Metals prices were mostly up, with the exception a slight decline for silver.

In morning trade in London, sterling strengthened on press reports that Treasury has proposed that UK-based multinational corporations be allowed to repatriate their foreign profits without having to pay taxes. The move is a bid to encourage multinationals to locate their headquarters in the UK. Meanwhile, in government bonds trade, yields fell on US Treasury bonds and Japanese government bonds, but Eurozone and UK yields were up during the day.

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