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Monday 19th of April 2010
February 16, 2007    

Equities markets gain over week

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by Elaine Frei

Equities markets gain over week

In Tokyo on Friday, equities markets declined slightly. The Nikkei 225 and the Topix index each dropped 0.1 percent on the session, to 17,875.65 and 1,774.53 respectively. The transport sector - car and truck makers - were down the most among export-focused stocks, while the real estate sector saw declines on the domestic side.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 managed to rise only 0.1 percent over the week, to close at 1,544.07 on Friday after reaching a six-year high on Thursday. Properties companies had a good week, as did the luxury goods sector. Banks were mixed, with the French portion of the sector lower.

Light trade - only 2.6 billion shares changed hands on Friday - accompanied declines for both the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 in London. The 100 dropped 0.2 percent to 6,419.5, while the 200 fell 0.1 percent to 11,556.4. Still, both indices saw gains over the week, with the 100 up 0.6 percent and the 250 0.3 percent higher. Among the big news on the day was the suggestion that Amvescap (LSE, NYSE: AVZ), which is in the process of changing its name to Invesco, will change its primary listing to the US.

In New York, afternoon trade saw gains for the week for the main Wall Street indices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.3 percent on the week to 12,748.26, while the S&P 500 had added 1.1 percent over five sessions to 1,453.27. While the Nasdaq was down 0.2 percent in mid-afternoon trade, it was 1.3 percent higher on the week to 2,490.13. Late-week activity was driven by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s benign comments on the US economy before Congress, while Friday’s numbers were hurt after the news that fewer new homes were built in January. US markets will be closed Monday for the President’s Day holiday.

Crude oil prices rose on Friday on a warning by the United States that there would be more attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria, but prices were slightly lower over the week for both Brent and West Texas Intermediat crude. The price of gold was down Friday, held steady on the week, and are up by nearly 5 percent since the beginning of the year. Base metals prices were generally lower over the session but saw gains during the week.

In the currency markets, the yen was stronger over the week, while the US dollar and sterling were both weaker on disappointing data.

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