Most Asian markets decline on session

| May 10, 2007 | 0 Comments
Most Asian markets decline on session

Equities markets in Asia and the Pacific were mixed on Thursday, with Asian markets mostly lower but Australian markets again closing at record high levels. In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 300 closed at 6,355.5 and the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.22 percent to 6,351.8, helped by news from the retail sector and even though miners declined on the session.

In India the Sensex dropped 0.07 percent to 13,771.23, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng index fell 0.47 percent to 20,746.27. The Straits Times index in Singapore bucked the trend and closed at 3,469.26, a slight gain. In Tokyo, profit-taking sent the markets lower even though a number of companies issued strong earnings reports. The Nikkei 225 was 0.1 percent lower to 17,736.96, while the Topix index dropped 0.5 percent to 1,736.99.

Markets in continental Europe were lower on the session. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 dropped 0.76 percent to 1,572.89, while the CAC-40 in Paris fell 0.64 percent to 9,367.3 and the Frankfurt Xetra Dax was 0.81 percent lower to 7,415.33. The markets were mixed in London, with the FTSE 100 dropping 0.39 percent to 6,524.1 but the FTSE 250 0.04 percent higher to 12,062.4.

Sentiment declined on Wall Street as retail sales data was weaker for April than had been expected and there was also bad news on March’s trade deficit. In midday trade in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1 percent to 13,232.52. The S&P 500 was also 1 percent lower, to 1,496.96, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.3 percent to 2,542.86.

Crude oil prices were lower during the session, as were natural gas prices as new data showed natural gas stockpiles in the US at 20 percent above the five-year average. Precious metals prices dropped significantly.

Sterling weakened after the Bank of England raised interest rates to 5.5 percent, a six year high. Meanwhile, the euro also weakened versus the US dollar but gained on the yen after the European Central Bank held interest rates at 3.75 percent but sent strong signals that there would be another rate hike in June.

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