New York markets lower in afternoon trade

New York markets lower in afternoon trade

In late afternoon trade, Wall Street was lower on bad news from the banking and house building sectors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.59 percent to 12,967.39 while the Nasdaq Composite was 1.51 percent lower to 2,597.5 and the S&P 500 had dropped 1.55 percent to 1,436.16.

Most Asia-Pacific equities markets were lower on Monday. The only major exception was in Australia, where the S&P/ASX200 added 1.13 percent to 6,535.2 and the Sydney Ordinaries gained 1.15 percent to 6,601.3 on speculation that the worst of the losses related to the US subprime mortgage crisis could be over.

Elsewhere, the Sensex was down 0.33 percent to 19,633.36 in India while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng was 0.56 percent lower to 27,460.17. The Straits Times index dropped 0.85 percent to 3,411.72, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.87 percent to 5,269.82 and Taiwan’s Taiex index was 0.96 percent lower to 8,680.17. In South Korea, the Kospi index was down 1.7 percent to 1,893.47.

Tokyo’s markets declined as well, with the Nikkei 225 falling to its lowest level since July 2006. The Nikkei was 0.74 percent lower to 15,042.56 while the Topix index dropped 1.02 percent to 1,456.61 and the Mothers market fell 2.03 percent to 823.09.

Declines in Europe were substantial. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 dropped 2.05 percent to 1,463.47. In Frankfurt the Dax fell 1.32 percent to 7,511.97 while the IBEX was 1.46 percent lower to 15,539.3 in Madrid and the Paris CAC-40 dropped 1.65 percent to 5,432.57. London’s declines were even bigger. The FTSE 100 was down 2.71 percent to 6,120.8 while the FTSE 250 plummeted 3.36 percent to 10,404.5.

Crude oil prices were higher on the session, while base metals and most precious metals saw declines. Grains prices were mixed, with wheat higher on concerns about the winter wheat crop in the United States.

The yen and the Swiss franc both strengthened as investors avoided risk.


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