European equities fall on slower 4Q growth
European markets were lower Tuesday on new data that showed that the Eurozone economy expanded more slowly in the fourth quarter of 2007. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 1.45 percent to 1,279.23. In Paris, the CAC-40 was 1.41 percent lower to 4,,675.91 while the IBEX fell 1.81 percent to 12,630.1 in Madrid and the Dax dropped 2.17 percent to 6,545.04 in Madrid. Equities markets were also lower in London. The FTSE 100 was down 0.87 percent to 5,767.7 while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.69 percent to 9,944.5.
Most equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower again on concerns that soaring commodities prices will hurt earnings. Exceptions to the losses came in South Korea, where the Kospi added 0.27 percent to 1,676.18, and in Taiwan with a gain of 2.51 percent to 8,470.11 for the Taiex. The Straits Times Index, however, was down 0.23 percent to 2,919.68. In Australia the S&P/ASX200 was 0.47 percent lower to 5,380.3 while the Sydney Ordinaries fell 0.57 percent to 5,479.2. The Hang Seng dropped 1.97 percent to 23,119.87, the Sensex was down 2.03 percent to 16,339.89, and the Shanghai Composite fell 2.32 percent to 4,335.45.
Tokyo’s markets were also mostly lower. The Nikkei 225 traded essentially even, adding just 0.1 point to 12,992.28, while the Topix index fell 0.43 percent to 1,265.66 and the Mothers market dropped 2.01 percent to 660.
Wall Street was down in early afternoon trade on continuing concerns about a weakening US economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 1.47 percent lower in early afternoon trade to 12,079.15 while the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.2 percent to 2,331.45 and the S&P 500 had dropped 1.35 percent to 1,313.38.
Crude oil prices dropped substantially. Precious metals prices were mixed, with gold and silver lower but platinum seeing gains. Grains prices declined.
The yen gained on the US dollar and the euro while the pound also gained on the greenback but the Australian dollar declined on the prospect of no new interest rate hikes after the one instituted today by the Reserve Bank of Australia.