Monday, March 31, 2008

Market update

Asian markets started the week on a negative note. The market declined in the early session of trade on Monday (Mar. 31, 2008) on speculation that U.S. consumer spending is declining and after a newspaper reported that UBS AG will need more capital, raising concern that credit market losses will widen.

Toyota Motor, which gets more than half of its revenue from North America, declined the most among automakers. Mizuho Financial Group, touched two-week low.

Japanese benchmark index Nikkei declined 192.64 points, or 1.50%, to trade at 12,627.83.

Hong Kong`s index Hang Seng lost 313.03 points, or 1.34%, to trade at 22,972.92.

China`s Shanghai Composite declined 48.70 points, or 1.36%, to trade at 3,531.45.

Taiwan`s Taiex index declined 98.16 points, or 1.14%, to trade at 8,525.32.

South Korea`s KOSPI declined 3.62 points, or 0.21%, to trade at 1,698.21.

Singapore`s Straits Times lost 16.14 points, or 0.53%, to trade at 3,048.04. (8.10 a.m., IST)

Oil prices dropped on Friday (March 28) as fears of a major disruption of Iraqi crude exports vanished after the restart of a crude pipeline system in Iraq.

Light sweet crude for May delivery fell USD 1.96 to settle at USD 105.62 a barrel Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

April gasoline futures rose 0.07 cent to settle at USD 2.717 a gallon. The retail gas prices rose 0.8 cent overnight, to USD 3.275 a gallon

April heating oil futures fell 4.33 cents to settle at USD 3.105 a gallon at the NYMEX.

In London, Brent crude futures slipped USD 1.23 to settle at USD 103.77 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

May natural gas futures rose 11.3 cents to settle at USD 9.80 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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