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Thursday 14th of February 2008
December 13, 2007

Europe’s markets in significant declines

by Elaine Frei
Europe's markets in significant declines

Europe’s equities markets declined substantially Thursday, with no gainers at all on one index and only two on another. The pan-European FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 2.37 percent to 1,509.82. In Frankfurt, the Dax was 1.83 percent lower as it lost almost 150 points to 7,928.31. Madrid’s IBEX fell 2.27 percent with a loss of 360 points to 15,499.2. The CAC-40 dropped over 150 points, or 2.65 percent, to 5,590.91. In London, meanwhile the FTSE 100 was down nearly 200 points, falling 2.98 percent to 4,370.76, while the FTSE 250 was 2.9 percent lower to 10,334.7 as it lost over 300 points on the session.

Equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower Thursday as well. The least of the declines came in Australia, where the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.21 percent to 6,661.1 and the S&P/ASX200 was down 0.27 percent to 6,597.6. Elsewhere, the Kospi index fell 0.6 percent to 1,915.9 in South Korea while India’s Sensex was 1.33 percent lower to 20,104.39 and the Straits Times index was down 1.97 percent to 3,479.31 in Singapore. The Shanghai Composite fell 2.7 percent to 4,958.04. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 2.72 percent lower to 27,744.45 as it dropped almost 800 points while the Taiex index fell 3.57 percent to 8,187.95, a decline of more than 300 points. Meanwhile, Tokyo’s markets suffered their biggest one-day losses in four months. The Nikkei 225 lost almost 400 points as it dropped 2.48 percent to 15,536.52 while the Topix index was down 2.62 percent to 1,516.1 and the Mothers market was 1.97 percent lower to 869.22.

Wall Street was down in mid-afternoon trade on mixed news as retail sales were up and jobless claims fell but wholesale prices were up in November on a rise in gasoline prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.45 percent to 13,413.50 while the Nasdaq Composite had dropped to 2,674.33 and the S&P 500 was 0.77 percent lower to 1,475.17.

Prices for metals and crude oil dropped on the session, while grains prices were mixed.

The US dollar gained on the euro and the pound while the yen strengthened on an exit from risk, but the Swiss franc weakened after the Swiss central bank held interest rates steady.

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