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Saturday 22nd of November 2008
May 15, 2007

Most Asian markets lower on session


by Elaine Frei
Most Asian markets lower on session

Most Asian and Pacific equities markets were lower on Tuesday. The exception was the Straits Times index in Singapore, which added 0.42 percent to 3,475.08 by the close. Elsewhere, the Sensex dropped 0.26 percent to 6,297.3 in India, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng index fell 0.53 percent to 20,868.15 after huge gains on Monday. In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries were down 0.78 percent to 6,297.3. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.9 percent to 17,512.98, while the Topix index was 1.1 percent lower to 1,712. The Mothers market of small and mid-cap stocks, meanwhile, fell 1.4 percent to 863.32.

European markets were higher on the session. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 gained 0.22 percent to 1,582.14, while the CAC-40 added 0.39 percent to 6,049.76 in Paris and the Frankfurt Xetra Dax gained 0.61 percent to 7,505.35. In London, the FTSE 100 gained 0.04 percent to 6,558.4, while the FTSE 250 added 0.45 percent to 12,092.2.

Wall Street was higher at midday after new data on consumer inflation showed that prices were up less than had been expected in April, leading many to hope that the Federal Reserve might cut interest rates soon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.86 percent higher to 13,462.02 at noon after setting another new high, 13,469.82, during the morning session. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.27 percent to 2,553.31 after early losses and the S&P 500 had gained 0.62 percent to 1,512.5. The Russell 2000 index of small and mid-caps added 0.52 percent to 826.58.

Oil prices were higher after more supply disruptions in Nigeria and a statement from OPEC contradicting last week’s International Energy Agency warning that supplies are not sufficient to meet demand for oil products this summer. OPEC predicted that global oil demand growth will remain steady this year. Metals prices were higher.

Sterling weakened against the US dollar and euro in early trade, but recovered its losses against the greenback later in the day. The dollar weakened against the euro, but the yen dropped versus the dollar. Prices for US treasury bonds fell slightly and yields were higher after consumer inflation data came back weaker than had been expected.

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