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Asia-Pacific equities see declines


by Elaine Frei
January 10, 2008
Asia-Pacific equities see declines

Equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower on Thursday. The main exception to losses was the Shanghai Composite, which added 0.38 percent to 5,456.54. Australian indices saw the least of the losses as the S&P/ASX200 fell 0.15 percent to 6,078.7 and the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.2 percent to 6,147.3. Taiwan’s Taiex was down 0.34 percent to 8,057.27. Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea’s Kospi index fell 1.07 percent to 1,824.78. India’s Sensex dropped 1.38 percent, nearly 300 points, to 20,582.08 while the Hang Seng index was 1.39 percent lower to 27,230.86, for a decline of nearly 400 points on the session. The FTSE Straits Times Index, which began operation today with a slightly different configuration than the former Straits Times Index, was 1 percent lower to 3,311.07.

Tokyo’s markets were also lower on the session. The Nikkei 225 was down 1.45 percent to 14,388.11, a decline of over 200 points on the session. The Topix index fell 1.61 percent to 1,401.36 while the Mothers market dropped 0.66 percent to 746.29.

European markets were also lower on the session, with the pan-European FTSE Eurofirst 300 falling 0.79 percent to 1,437.68. In Madrid the IBEX was 0.38 percent lower to 14,548.4 while the Paris CAC-40 was down 0.64 percent to 5,400.43 and the Dax dropped 0.89 percent to 7,713.09. In London, the FTSE 100 was 0.8 percent lower to 6,222,7 while the FTSE 250 dropped 163 points, or 1.64 percent to 1,437.68.

New York equities markets closed higher Thursday on remarks from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke that indicated that more interest rate cuts are coming soon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.92 percent higher to 12,853.09 while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.56 percent to 2,448.52 and the S&P 500 gained 1,420.33.

Precious metals prices were higher, but crude oil, copper and grains prices all were lower on the session.

The euro saw gains after both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England held interest rates steady for the time being.



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