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Friday 07th of May 2010
May 16, 2007    

Equities mixed; commodities prices lower

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by Elaine Frei
Equities mixed; commodities prices lower

Equities markets in Asia and the Pacific were higher on Wednesday. In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.06 percent to 6,301.1. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong gained 0.33 percent to 20,937.29, while in Singapore the Straits Times index was up 0.71 percent to 3,493.39. In India, meanwhile, the Sensex was 1.42 percent higher to 14,127.31. Meanwhile in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.1 percent to 17,529, while the Topix index remained virtually even at 1,711.89. The Mothers market of small and mid-caps was the exception on the session, falling 2.9 percent to 838.75.

European markets saw losses on the session with few exceptions. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 dropped 0.2 percent to 1,580, while Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax fell 0.32 percent to 7,481.25 and the CAC-40 in Paris was 0.53 percent lower to 6,017.91. In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.14 percent to 6,559.5. Only the FTSE 250 saw gains, adding 0.09 percent, to 12,102.6.

The New York markets were higher at midday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.2 percent to 13,412.36, in record territory yet again. The S&P 500 was just short of a record as well, adding 0.3 percent to 1,506.02, while the Nasdaq Composite had gained 0.1 percent to 2,526.57.

Crude oil prices were down by $1.06 in early afternoon trade in New York after crude, gasoline, and distillates inventories were each up by a million barrels or more last week. The additions to crude oil and gasoline stockpiles were more than had been anticipated, but distillates inventories were not up quite as much as analysts had predicted. On the other hand, unleaded gasoline pump prices in the US set new record highs for the fourth day in a row. Prices for both precious and base metals were lower on the session.

A number of emerging market currencies, including the Brazilian real, the Israeli shekel, the Philippine peso and the Turkish lira made gains against the US dollar. Elsewhere, the Japanese yen and British pound weakened.

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