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Friday 21st of November 2008
January 8, 2008

Asia-Pacific markets end session mixed


by Elaine Frei
Asia-Pacific markets end session mixed

Equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on Tuesday. Gainers included the Sensex, which added 0.29 percent to 20,873.33 in India. Taiwan’s Taiex was likewise higher, was up 1.01 percent to 7,962.91 after dropping more than 4 percent on Monday. In Tokyo, markets saw their first gains of the new year as the Nikkei 225 gained 0.19 percent to 14,528.67. The Topix index was 0.74 percent higher to 1,403.06 while the Mothers market of small and mid-caps jumped 1.47 percent to 747.84.

Among decliners, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.13 percent to 5,386.53. The Hang Seng, which was led lower by property developers, fell 0.24 percent to 27,112.9. South Korea’s Kospi index was 0.27 percent lower to 1,826.23 while the Straits Times Index dropped 0.44 percent to 3,338.27. In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 was down 0.54 percent to 6,128.1 and the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.56 percent to 6,025.7.

Markets were higher in Europe. The pan-European FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.68 percent to 1,467.76. In Madrid, the IBEX was 0.02 percent higher to 14,670.5 while the Dax added 0.42 percent to 7,849.99 in Frankfurt and the CAC-40 gained 0.79 percent to 5,495.67 in Paris. London also saw gains, with the FTSE 100 adding 0.33 percent to 6,356.9 and the FTSE 250 gaining 0.68 percent to 10.161.6.

New York equities markets were mixed in midday trade after the National Association of Realtors said that pending home sales were down 2.6 percent in November, much more than had been expected.. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.03 percent lower to 12,823.67 after rising and falling during the session so far, while the Nasdaq Composite was 0.23 percent higher to 2,505.32 and the S&P 500 had added 0.18 percent to 1,418.75.

Gold prices were at record highs, while other precious metals also saw gains. Oil prices were also higher, as were grains prices.

In forex markets, the yen and the US dollar saw declines but the pound strengthened.

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