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Saturday 21st of June 2008
August 15, 2007

Most European equities markets see declines

by Elaine Frei
Most European equities markets see declines

Europe’s equities markets were mostly lower Wednesday. The exception was Frankfurt’s Dax, which added 0.28 percent to 7,445.9. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 fell 0.08 percent to 1,493.42. In Madrid, the IBEX dropped 0.18 percent to 14,527.6, while the Paris CAC-40 was 0.66 percent lower to 5,442.72. London’s markets also declined as the FTSE 100 was 0.56 percent lower to 6,109.3 and the FTSE 250 dropped 0.99 percent to 10,889.3.

Equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were back in negative territory on the session as well, with most indices seeing substantial declines on the session. In China, the Shanghai Composite lost the least, dropping only 0.06 percent to 4,869.88. In South Korea the Kospi index fell 1.7 percent to 1,817.89, while the Hang Seng index was 2.87 percent lower to 21,375.72 in Hong Kong. Australia’s losses were even bigger as the S&P/ASX200 fell 2.96 percent to 5,788 and the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 3.03 percent to 5,801.5. The Straits Times index in Singapore was 3.43 percent lower to 3,273.25, while Taiwan’s Taiex index fell 3.57 percent to 8,593.04. The Philippine Stock Exchange index dropped 4.08 percent, while in Indonesia the Jakarta Composite was down 6.44 percent to 2,029.08. It was the biggest one-day decline for the Jakarta index since May 2004 and it has declined 14 percent since 23 July.

In Tokyo both the Nikkei 225 and the Topix index closed at their lowest level this year. The Nikkei was down 2.2 percent to 16,475.61, while the Topix dropped 2.6 percent to 1,594.15. The Mothers market fell 2.66 percent to 751.69.

Wall Street saw gains in early afternoon trade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.5 percent higher to 13,094.52, while the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.65 percent to 2,515.45 and the S&P 500 was up 0.75 percent to 1,437.19.

Crude oil prices were higher after US crude oil and gasoline inventories dropped last week and as weather forecasts held a possibility of storms in the Gulf of Mexico soon. Metals prices were mostly lower, while gold traded even in New York. In agricultural commodities, orange juice futures were lower in New York but at late morning in Chicago the price of corn was higher.

Sterling weakened again, while the yen was stronger as investors fled risk.

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