Asian markets mixed

Asian markets mixed

Equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on Wednesday. The Straits Times index was 0.61 percent lower to 3,461.22 in Singapore on reports that its gross domestic product dropped 3.2 percent on an annualized basis. Hong Konga��s Hang Seng index was down 0.91 percent to 27,560.52 while the Taiex fell 2.15 percent to 8,323.05 in Taiwan. In South Korea, the Kospi dropped 2.3 percent to 8,323.05.

There were gains in Australian markets. The Sydney Ordinaries added 0.2 percent to 6,434.1 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 0.21 percent to 6,353.2. The Shanghai Composite was also 0.21 percent higher on the session, to 5,272.81. Meanwhile, Indiaa��s Sensex gained 0.81 percent to 20,465.3. Tokyoa��s markets were closed for the day.

In Europe, markets saw declines. The pan-European FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 1.23 percent to 1,488.1. The Paris CAC-40 was 1.14 percent lower to 5,550.36 while Madrida��s IBEX fell 1.18 percent to 15,002.5. In Frankfurt the Dax, which added 22 percent in 2007, dropped 1.47 percent on the session to 7,949.11.
Londona��s markets were also lower on the session, with the FTSE 100 down 0.62 percent to 6,416.7 and the FTSE 250 falling 0.07 percent to 10,650.7.

Wall Street was lower in afternoon trade after oil prices rose to $100 per barrel and on a report from the Institute for Supply Management which showed that manufacturing activity in the US contracted in December. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.26 percent to 13,098.1 while the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.03 percent to 2,625 and the S&P 500 fell 0.87 percent to 1,455.63.

Crude oil prices were up, as were metals prices. Grains prices also rose after China imposed export taxes on them.

The US dollar and the pound both declined in relation to the euro, while the yen and the Swiss franc were higher as investors backed away from risk.

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