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Friday 19th of June 2009
October 11, 2007

South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong among record setters

by Elaine Frei
South Korea Singapore, Hong Kong among record setters

Equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher on Thursday, as a number of indices rose to new record highs. In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 closed at a record high with a gain of 0.5 percent to 6,771.9 while the Sydney Ordinaries were up 0.52 percent to 6,779.6. Taiwan’s Taiex added 0.52 percent to 9,697.67. India’s Sensex was 0.84 percent higher to 18,814.07, also a new record high close. In South Korea, the Kopsi index closed at a record high 2,058.85, a gain of 0.87 percent, after the Bank of Korea kept interest rates steady.

The Straits Times index in Singapore also hit a new record high as it closed 1.61 percent higher at 3,875.77, while the Hang Seng broke the 29,000 level for the first time to close 1.97 percent higher to 29,133.02. It was the third day in a row that the Hong Kong index closed at a new record, rising 4.9 percent in three sessions. The Shanghai Composite was 2.46 percent higher to 5,913.23, its fourth record close in a week’s time.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 had its highest close in 11 weeks as it added 1.64 percent to 17,458.98, while the Topix index was 1.17 percent higher to 1,677.52 and the Mothers market jumped 2.87 percent to 881.81.

European markets were also higher on the session. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.6 percent to 1,599.12. The Paris CAC-40 was 0.42 percent higher to 5,862.83, while the Dax gained 0.59 percent to 8,033.69 and the IBEX jumped 1.59 percent to 15,100. In London, the FTSE 100 was 1.38 percent higher to 6,724.5 while the FTSE 250 gained 0.96 percent to 11,622.9.

Stocks were higher on Wall Street in midday trade on the news that the US trade deficit was smaller in August and that there were fewer first-time unemployment claims filed last week compared to the week before. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.53 percent higher at mid-session to 14,152.99 after rising to a new record of 14,181.36. The Nasdaq Composite was 0.56 percent higher to 2,827.37, while the S&P 500 was up 0.59 percent to 1,751.71 after rising to a record 1,573.47.

Oil prices climbed after the weekly report on US inventories from the Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil and distillate stockpiles were lower last week and gasoline inventories were up. Precious metals prices were also higher, while grains prices were mixed.

The yen weakened after the Bank of Japan decided to hold interest rates at their present level for the time being.

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