Asian markets see significant gains

Asian markets see significant gains

In Asia and the Pacific region, equities markets were higher again on Thursday. The Australian markets set new records for the second day in a row. The Sydney Ordinaries added 0.2 percent to 6,236.9, while the S&P/ASX 200 closed at 6,245.6. In India, the Sensex gained 1.48 percent to 14,078.21 after a day off on holiday, with gains seen in companies - oil, gas, and metals - that are related to commodities. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was 1.69 percent higher to 10,681.58, while the Straits Times Index in Singapore jumped 2.2 percent to 3,450.64. The Tokyo markets were closed for the Golden Week holidays.

In Europe, the Eurofirst 300 added 0.26 percent to 1,581.2. Other indices on the continent were also higher, with the CAC-40 adding 0.24 percent to 6,004.28 in Paris and the Frankfurt Dax gaining 0.28 percent to 7,476.69. In London meanwhile, the FTSE 100 was up 0.82 percent to 6,537.8 and the FTSE 250 was 0.22 percent higher to 12,046.1

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 breached the 1,500 level for the first time since September 2000. At midday, the S&P was 0.4 percent higher to 1,501.28. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1 percent to 13,229.02,while the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.3 percent to 2,566.01

In the commodities markets, crude oil prices were higher early but then fell lower than Wednesday’s close despite new violence directed at oil facilities in Nigeria. Meanwhile, metals prices were higher, with base metals up on tight supplies and strike worries.

The US dollar strengthened again on the session, and sterling gained on the euro despite a decline in the UK services Purchasing Managers’ Index in April.

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