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Saturday 22nd of November 2008
June 7, 2007

Equities decline again; oil prices gain on new worries


by Elaine Frei
Equities decline again; oil prices gain on new worries

Equities markets were mostly down again on Thursday. In the Asia Pacific region, the Singapore Straits Times index dropped 0.07 percent to 3,558.55, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 0.09 percent to 10,800.16. In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries were 0.46 percent lower to 6,338.2, while the Sensex dropped 0.49 percent to 14,186.18 in India. The main exception to the declines came in Tokyo, where the Nikkei 225 and the Topix index each added 0.1 percent, to 18,053.38 and 1,779.72 respectively.

European equities markets were down again, but not as much as their Wednesday declines. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 dropped 1.13 percent to 1,568.56. In Madrid the IBEX fell 1.36 percent to 14,725.9, while the Dax was 1.44 percent lower to 7,618.61 in Frankfurt and the Paris CAC-40 dropped 1.46 percent to 5,890.49. In London the FTSE 100 dropped 0.27 percent to 6,505.1, while the FTSE 250 fell 1.32 percent to 11,626.3.

Wall Street saw declines at midday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.45 percent lower to 13,404.64 after losing early advances, while the Nasdaq Composite was 0.63 percent lower to 2,570.97 and the S&P 500 dropped 0.69 percent to 1,506.98. In addition, the Russell 2000 index of small and mid-caps fell 0.95 percent to 833.24.

Crude oil prices were higher on new geopolitical concerns involving North Korea and Turkey, while OPEC said once again that its view is that supplies are “sufficient” at the present time. Metals prices were mostly lower again. The exception was copper, which advanced slightly on lowered inventories.

Sterling weakened on currencies markets after the Bank of England held interest rates steady, while the New Zealand dollar strengthened after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand issued a surprise interest rate hike to 8 percent. The US dollar was stronger. US bond yields rose above 5 percent for the first time since last August, and yields also advanced on government bonds in the Eurozone, the UK, and Japan.

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