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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
March 20, 2008

European markets lower ahead of holiday


by Elaine Frei
European markets lower ahead of holiday

Equities markets in Europe were also down Thursday ahead of a four-day holiday break. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 0.26 percent lower to 1,227.03. In Madrid, the IBEX traded virtually unchanged at 12,964.2 while the Paris CAC-40 was down 0.49 percent to 4,533.72 and the Dax dropped 0.65 percent in 6,319.99. In London, the FTSE 100 down 0.91 percent to 5,495.2 and the FTSE 250 falling 1.08 percent to 9,448.4.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed. Gainers included the Kospi index, which added 0.07 percent to 1,623.39 in South Korea. In addition, the Shanghai Composite was up 1.13 percent to 3,804.05 and the Taiex gained 1.94 percent to 8,337.62. Among decliners on the session were the Straits Times Index, which was down 0.29 percent to 2,824.91. Australia’s markets closed early ahead of the holiday, with the S&P/ASX200 down 3.06 percent to 5,127.5 while the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 3.12 percent to 5,182.4. The Hang Seng was down 3.47 percent to 21,108.22. Markets in Tokyo and in India were closed for the day.

US markets were higher in mid-afternoon trade in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 1.38 percent higher to 12,266.63 while the Nasdaq Composite added 1.21 percent to 2,236.72 and the S&P 500 had gained 1.37 percent to 1,316.21.

Oil, metals, and grains prices were all lower on the session.

The US dollar and the pound both gained on the euro, with the US dollar up on most heavily commodity-related currencies.

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