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Saturday 19th of December 2009
March 27, 2007    

Equities markets mixed as oil prices drop, bond yields rise

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by Elaine Frei
Equities markets mixed as oil prices drop, bond yields rise

Equities markets in Asia and the Pacific were mostly lower on Tuesday, the main exception being the Straits Times index in Singapore, which added 1.01 percent to 3,230.61. Elsewhere, the Sydney Ordinaries and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong each dropped 0.3 percent, to 5,952.3 and 19,706.79 respectively. In India, the Sensex fell 1.22 percent, to 13,124.32. In Tokyo, meanwhile, the Nikkei 225 was 0.9 percent lower to 17,365.05 and the Topix index dropped 1 percent to 1,723.86.

European markets were mixed. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was lower at the close, but only by 0.08 percent, to 1,509.04. Elsewhere on the continent, the CAC-40 was 0.19 percent higher in Paris to 5,587.06 and the Xetra Dax added 0.43 percent to 6,858.34 in Frankfurt. In London, the FTSE 100 was just slightly higher, by 0.01 percent, to 6,292.6, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.12 percent to 11,641.8.

At midday in New York, markets were lower on the news that single-family home prices were down in January in comparison to the same period last year. In addition, the Conference Board said that its consumer confidence index dropped to 107.2 in March, down from 112.5 in February and its lowest level since November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6 percent to 12,397.85, while the Nasdaq Composite was 0.7 percent lower to 2,439.18 and the S&P 500 fell 0.6 percent to 1,428.49.

In the commodities markets, crude oil prices were slightly lower after a string of advances due to political tensions and worries about tight supplies due to refinery closures as the summer driving season approaches in the United States. Gold prices were lower, while base metals prices were mixed.

Among currencies, the US dollar and sterling were both weaker, although the greenback managed to advance versus the UK currency. Meanwhile, the euro was helped by a strong Ifo business sentiment survey in Germany.

Meanwhile, in government bonds trade, yields were up in the US, UK, and Europe, but dropped in Japan.

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