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Friday 26th of September 2008
January 17, 2008

European markets see declines; London mixed


by Elaine Frei
European markets see declines; London mixed

European equities markets were lower on the session Thursday after a key index on manufacturing in the US was lower, showing significant contraction in January over December. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 0.68 percent lower to 1,373.73. The IBEX was down 0.3 percent to 13,775.6 while the Dax fell 0.78 percent to 7,413.53 and the CAC-40 dropped 1.31 percent to 5,157.09. Markets were mixed in London, where the FTSE 100 was 0.68 percent lower to 5,902.4 but the FTSE 250 added 0.37 percent to 9.662.6.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed. Among losers on the session, Australian markets were down for the 9th consecutive session. The S&P/ASX200 was down 0.23 percent to 5,796.1 while the Sydney Ordinaries fell 0.24 percent to 5,857. Other decliners in the region included India’s Sensex, which was 0.84 percent lower to 19,700.82, a loss of 167 points. The Taiex was down 0.95 percent to 8,101.63 while the Shanghai Composite dropped 2.63 percent to 5,151.63.

Gainers on the day included South Korea’s Kospi index, which was up 1.09 percent to 1,723.55. The FTSE Straits Times Index was 2.66 percent higher to 3,139.88 and the Hang Seng Index jumped 2.72 percent, just over 664 points, to 25,144.98. Tokyo’s markets also saw gains. The Nikkei 225 was 2.07 percent higher to 13,783.45 while the Topix Index added 1,330.44 and the Mothers market gained 4.07 percent to 645.62.

In New York, markets were down in early afternoon trade after testimony before Congress by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.12 percent to 12,326.18 after being up before Mr. Bernanke’s remarks. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.95 percent to 2,371.81 while the S&P 500 was 1.65 percent lower to 1,350.59.

Crude oil prices were lower while metals and grains prices were mixed. In forex trade, the US dollar saw declines while the yen strengthened as investors avoided risky deals.

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