Apr 15, 2008

International Markets - Elevated Commodity prices drive Asian Markets lower

08 Apr 2008 | 15:17

Elevated Commodity prices drive Asian Markets lower


Asian markets draw back on the worries of rising crude-oil prices and higher raw-material prices hurting shares particularly airlines and steel makers.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Average fell 1.5% to 13,250.43, while the broader Topix index gave up 1.8% to 1,282.69.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended the day 1.1% lower at 24,311.69, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index dropped 1.7% to 13,196.22.

China's Shanghai Composite ended 0.4% higher at 3,612.54, extending gains into a fourth day. The index rose as high as 3,633.79 earlier during the volatile session.

In afternoon trading, India's Sensitive Index, or Sensex, declined 1.3% to 15,549.94 and the broader S&P CNX Nifty index gave up 1.3% to 4,700.70. Singapore's Straits Times index declined 1.7% to 3,128.70.

Thailand's SET index rose 0.05% to 825.21, ahead of a decision on interest rates by its central bank tomorrow.

Elsewhere, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 1% to 5,571.50, snapping a six-day winning streak. South Korea's Kospi declined 1.1% to 1,754.71, New Zealand's NZX 50 index shed 1.1% to 3,605.68 and Taiwan's weighted index gave up 0.7% to 8,672.85.

Light crude oil futures for May delivery slipped as much as 31 cents to $108.78 a barrel in electronic trading, after rising $2.86 to finish at $109.09 a barrel in regular trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In Asian currency trading, the U.S. dollar was quoted at 101.96 yen, compared with 102.36 yen in New York late Monday.

Technology sector weakness drove a retreat in Europe stocks. In the opening trade the U.K. FTSE 100 lost 0.9% to 5,961.40 while the French CAC 40 fell 1% to 4,897.44. The German DAX 30 fell 0.9% to 6,758.05.

Looking at the economic calendar for the day we have a pending home sales from the U.S followed by the release of FOMC minutes.