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Saturday 22nd of November 2008
June 6, 2007

Equities mostly lower; crude oil up, metals prices decline

by Elaine Frei
Equities mostly lower; crude oil up, metals prices decline

Most global equities markets were lower on Wednesday, with the only major exceptions being in Asia. The Shanghai Composite added 0.24 percent to 3,776.3, while the Shenzhen Composite was 1.9 percent higher to 1,086.22. Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong dropped 0.11 percent to 20,818.61. The Sydney Ordinaries was 0.51 percent lower to 6,367.4, while in Singapore the Straits Times index fell 0.6 percent to 3,560.33. In India, the Sensex was down 1.92 percent to 14,255.93. In Tokyo the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.1 percent to 18,040.93, while the Topix was another exception to the general declines as it added 0.1 percent to 1,778.5. The Mothers market of small and mid-caps was also higher, adding 0.7 percent to 896.72.

Declines were much bigger in Europe. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 fell 1.5 percent to 1,588.01. On the continent the Paris CAC-40 dropped 1.66 percent to 5,977.87, while the Dax was 2.4 percent lower to 7,730.05 in Frankfurt and in Madrid the IBEX was down 2.52 percent to 14,928.8. In London the FTSE 100 dropped 1.66 percent to 6,522.7 and the FTSE 250 was down 2.35 percent to 11,782.4.

The New York markets were lower at midday after new figures showing that unit labor costs were up by 1.8 percent last month increased investor fears of rising inflation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.83 percent to 13,483.23 by mid-session, while the Nasdaq Composite was 0.95 percent lower to 2,586.55 and the S&P 500 was down 0.81 percent to 1,518.52. The Russell 2000 index of small and mid-caps was also lower, dropping 0.97 percent to 840.03.

Crude oil prices were higher even though the newest US inventories figures showed that crude oil, gasoline, and distillates stockpiles were all up in the week ending June 1. Metals prices, on the other hand, were lower on the session.

The euro weakened after the European Central Bank raised interest rates in the Eurozone to 4 percent, as it had been expected to do. Both the Australian and New Zealand dollars saw gains on the session.

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