Asia equities still lower as Europe, US see gains

Asia equities still lower as Europe, US see gains

Equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower again on Friday. In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 was 0.71 percent lower to 5.671 and the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.73 percent to 5,670.3. The Taiex index dropped 1.35 percent to 8,090.29 in Taiwan. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng index dropped 1.38 percent to 20,387.13. India’s Sensex fell 1.51 percent to 14,141.52, while the Shanghai Composite was down 2.28 percent to 4,656.57. In South Korea, the Kospi index dropped 3.19 percent to 1,638.07. The declines were steeper in Tokyo, where the Nikkei 225 fell 5.42 percent to 15,273.68, while the Topix index and the Mothers market each were down 5.55 percent, to 1,480.39 and 688.46 respectively.

European markets were higher after the US Federal Reserve cut the discount rate at which the Fed lends money to banks from 6.25 percent to 5.75 percent. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 2.44 percent to 1,475.99, while the Dax gained 1.49 percent to 7,378.29 in Frankfurt, the Paris CAC-40 was up 1.86 percent to 5,363.63 and Madrid’s IBEX was 2.21 percent higher to 14,288.7. London’s markets were also higher on the session. The FTSE 100 added 3.5 percent to 6,064.2, while the FTSE 250 was 2.14 percent higher to 10,686.2.

At just before 2 pm in New York, Wall Street was in positive territory for the day, helped by the Fed‘s cut in the discount rate. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 1.25 percent higher to 13,006.49, while the Nasdaq Composite had added 1.67 percent to 2,491.92 and the S&P 500 was up 1.88 percent to 1,437.77.

Crude oil prices were higher on worries that Hurricane Dean will disrupt operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, metals prices were up on the day but down on the week. Agricultural commodities also saw declines for the week.

The yen ended the week much higher, up by 4 percent over the five session versus the US dollar and up over 10 percent against both the Australian and New Zealand dollars. Both the euro and sterling fell by more than 4 percent against the yen this week.

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