Asian markets in substantial gains on session

| April 4, 2007 | 0 Comments
Asian markets in substantial gains on session

With oil prices dropping on the news that Iran will release 15 British sailors captured almost two weeks ago in what it said were Iranian waters, Asian and Pacific equities markets saw gains on Wednesday. In Australia, the S&P/ASX300 added 1.4 percent to close at 6,097.2, a new record, after the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to keep interest rates at their present level for at least another month. The Sydney Ordinaries were 1.36 percent higher to 6079.

The Straits Times index in Singapore also set a new record on the session, adding 1.35 percent to close at 3,332.92. The STI went as high as 3,335.78 during the session. South Korea’s Kospi index and the Jakarta Composite index both also set records on the day. The South Korean index added 1.3 percent to reach 1,483.41 at the close, while in Jakarta, the Composite gained 1.5 percent to 1,922.05, setting a record for the third straight session.

In other Asian markets, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was 1.03 percent higher to 20,209.71, while the Sensex gained 1.28 percent in India to 12,786.77. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was 1.7 percent higher to 17,544.09, while the Topix index added 1.5 percent to 1,730.52.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 0.14 percent higher on the session to 1,538.76, while the Xetra Dax added 0.40 percent to 7,073.91 and the CAC-40 was up 0.47 percent to 5,739.01. Equities markets were mixed in London, meanwhile, with the FTSE 100 0.02 percent lower to 6,364.7 while the FTSE 250 was 0.03 percent higher to 11,889.2.

At midday in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.1 percent higher to 12,520.62, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.2 percent to 2,455.77 and the S&P 500 was just barely higher to 1,437.77.

Crude oil prices were mixed, a bit higher in for Brent crude in London but lower for West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Metals prices were higher, with new record highs set for nickel and lead.

In currency markets, the euro was stronger, while the Australian dollar suffered temporary losses after the Reserve Bank of Australia held interest rates steady. Yields on government bonds were lower in the US, the UK, and in the Eurozone, but were up a bit in Japan.

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