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Saturday 22nd of November 2008
March 30, 2007

Asian equities markets mostly higher


by Elaine Frei
Asian markets mostly higher

Global equities markets were mixed on Friday, with Asia Pacific markets mostly up, but Europe well mixed and the US lower at midday and over the week.

Markets were mostly up in the Asia Pacific Region. The main exception was the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong, which dropped 0.11 percent to 19,800.93. The Straits Times index in Singapore added 0.34 percent to 3,231.24, while the Sydney Ordinaries in Australia gained 0.6 percent to 5,978.8 and the Sensex in India was 0.71 percent higher, to 13,072.1. In Tokyo, the markets ended the session higher, but not too much higher. The Nikkei 225 ended the day at 17,287.65, up 0.14 percent, while the Topix index gained 0.2 percent to 1,713.61.

European markets were mixed, but most moved very little on the day. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down, but just by 0.08 percent to 1,515.78. In Paris, the CAC-40 added 0.05 percent to 5,634.16, while the Xetera Dax gained 0.29 percent to 6,917.03 in Frankfurt. In London, the FTSE 100 dropped 0.26 percent to 6,308 but the FTSE 250 was 0.2 percent higher to 11,689.3. Those results meant a decline of 0.5 percent for the 100 over the week, while the FTSE was 0.1 percent lower over five sessions..

Wall Street was down in midday trade after the US Commerce Department said that it will impose duties on some imports from China. In addition, investors remained worried about the situation involving Iran. Problems in the house building and mortgage sectors didn’t help. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.4 percent lower on the session so far to 12,299.72, a drop of 1.5 percent on the week. The Nasdaq Composite was also down 1.5 on the week, to 2,411.38. The S&P 500 had fallen 0.5 percent to 1,415.16, also 1.5 percent lower for the week.

Crude oil prices were up on the day as concern remained focused on Iran, while metals prices were mixed.

The US dollar saw declines, while the euro was stronger on positive unemployment and business sentimeint data out of Germany.

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