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Wednesday 20th of August 2008
June 27, 2007

Most global equities markets lower on session


by Elaine Frei
Most global equities markets lower on session

Asia-Pacific equities markets were lower on Wednesday, with some seeing significant declines. In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 1.9 percent to 6,216.6, while the S&P/ASX 200 also lost nearly 2 percent to close at 6,184.2. The Straits Times index dropped even more than that, falling 2.89 percent to 3,499.21. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng index was 0.45 percent lower to 21,705.56 and in India the Sensex fell 0.48 percent to 14,431.06. In Tokyo, meanwhile, the Nikkei 225 was 1.2 percent lower to 17,849.28, while the Topix index fell 1.4 percent to 1,741.08

The European markets were lower on the session as well. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 dropped 0.41 percent to 1,580.46. The Paris CAC-40 fell 0.2 percent to 5,941.67, while the IBEX was 0.5 percent lower to 14,681.7 in Madrid and the Dax dropped 0.75 percent to 7,801.23 in Frankfurt. In London, the FTSE 100 fell 0.48 percent to 6,527.6, while the FTSE 250 was down 1.26 percent to close at 11,391.9.

The New York markets were mixed at mid-session, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.17 percent to 13,314.73, while the Nasdaq Composite was 0.25 percent higher to 2,580.55 and the S&P 500 had added 0.02 percent to 1,493.13.

Crude oil prices were higher after weekly inventories figures from the United States showed gasoline stockpiles down last week rather than higher, as had been expected, even though refinery utilization was higher. Crude oil inventories were up slightly more than had been expected. Base metals prices were up on the session.

In the currencies market, the yen strengthened for a third straight day, while the New Zealand dollar declined versus both the yen and the US dollar as the Reserve Bank there made statements indicating that interest rates will likely go up again soon. The US dollar was steady versus the euro and slightly stronger against sterling.

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