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Friday 26th of September 2008
January 18, 2008

Wall Street declines on skepticism over stimulus plan


by Elaine Frei
Wall Street declines on skepticism over stimulus plan

New York equities markets were higher early in the session on Friday, but by early afternoon trade the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 had lost their gains on disappointment with comments from US President George W. Bush, who announced his plan to cut taxes in order to stimulate the slowing economy. In early afternoon activity, the Dow was down 0.19 percent to 12,163.69 and the S&P 500 had fallen 0.56 percent to 1,325.78. The Nasdaq Composite, however, was 0.13 percent higher to 2,349.94.

Equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region, meanwhile, remained mixed. Most markets in the region saw some gains, but India, Singapore, and Australia all saw losses. In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 was down 0.84 percent to 5,747.3 for a record 10th session in a row while the Sydney Ordinaries fell 0.98 percent to 5,799.4. Meanwhile, the FTSE Straits Times Index was 1.13 percent lower to 3,104.25 and the Sensex dropped 3.49 percent to 19,013.7, a decline of nearly 700 points. Among gainers, the Hang Seng was up 0.35 percent to 25,201.87 in Hong Kong. The Shanghai Composite added 0.56 percent to 5,180.51 while South Korea’s Kospi index was 0.65 percent higher to 1,734.72. In Taiwan, the Taiex gained 1.02 percent to 8,184.65. Tokyo also saw gains. The Nikkei 225 was up 0.56 percent to 13,861.29 and the Topix index was 0.83 percent higher to 1,341.5 while the Mothers market jumped 5.38 percent to 680.37.

Markets were lower in Europe again. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 fell 1.15 percent to 1,358.51. Madrid’s IBEX was down 0.87 percent to 13,655.4 while the CAC-40 was 1.25 percent lower to 5,092.4 and the Dax dropped 1.34 percent to 7,314.17. London’s markets saw mixed results. The FTSE 100 was 0.01 percent lower to 5,091.7 while the FTSE 250 added 0.18 percent to 9,680.1 on the session.

Oil prices were up and down all day, ending floor trade slightly higher in New York. Metals prices were mixed, as were grains prices.

The yen and the pound both weakened on the day, but the dollar saw some gains on a jump in consumer confidence.

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