Global markets gain on Libya, Japan news

| March 18, 2011 | 0 Comments
Global markets gain on Libya, Japan news

Most global equities markets saw gains Friday as a cease-fire was announced in Libya, and after the G-7 nations agreed to intervene in the yen in order to weaken the Japanese currency.

In Libya, the government announced a cease-fire against anti-government forces shortly after the United Nations Security Council voted to take all necessary measures to protect civilians there, ruling out only putting foreign troops on the ground in Libya.

Additionally, there was hope that conditions would get better in Japan, both physically and financially after the G-7 nations began selling the Japanese currency, while the International Atomic Energy Agency said that even though conditions at the damaged Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power facility are still very serious, they have been more stable for the past day than they had been previously, and Tokyo Electric Power (TYO: 9501) said that it could soon have power restored to cooling systems in the damaged reactors.

The Nikkei 225 was up 2.72 percent to 9,206.75 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 2.42 percent to 830.39 and the Mothers market gained 7.59 percent to 437.55 as Tokyo Electric Power saw its first gains on the week, other companies related to the nuclear power industry saw gains and crude oil explorers were also up.

Other gainers in Asia and the Pacific region included Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, which was up 0.07 percent to 22,300.2, while the Straits Times Index added 0.24 percent to 2,935.78 in Singapore, the Shanghai Composite was 0.33 percent higher to 2,906.89, South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.13 percent to 1,981.13, the Taiex was up 1.35 percent to 8,394.75 and in Australia, the S&P/ASX200 adding 1.56 percent to 4,626.4 as the Sydney Ordinaries gained 1.67 percent to 4,715.8.

India’s Sensex dropped 1.49 percent to 17,878.8.

The FTSE 100 added 0.39 percent to 5,718.13 in London, while the FTSE 250 was up 0.97 percent to 11,345.8 as utilities saw gains on positive broker comment, most energy companies and most insurers were up on the session, and homebuilders were mixed.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.23 percent to 1,089.19 while the IBEX added 0.03 percent to 10,328.4, the Dax was 0.11 percent higher to 6,664.4 and the CAC-40 gained 0.63 percent to 3,810.22.

New York equities markets were higher in afternoon trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.88 percent to 11,878.3 while the S&P 500 was up 0.73 percent to 1,282.97 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.68 percent higher to 2,654.1, with gains coming for banks after the US Federal Reserve said that some large banks could increase dividends by a limited amount.

Crude oil prices were lower in New York and London at just before 2 p.m. in New York, with West Texas Intermediate crude down 52 cents per barrel while Brent crude had dropped by 97 cents per barrel.

Precious metals prices were up in New York, with gold adding $13.30 per troy ounce, but copper was even in afternoon trade.

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