Sensex trades lower on Wednesday

Mumbai, March 23 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), on Wednesday was trading 78.96 points or 0.31 percent lower during the morning session.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was also trading 11.65 points or 0.15 percent lower at 7,703.25 points.

The Sensex of the BSE, which opened at 25,322.10 points was trading at 25,251.53 points (at 9.16 a.m.), down 78.96 points, or 0.31 percent from the previous day’s close at 25,330.49 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 25,322.10 points and a low of 25,247.56 points in the trade so far.

Chinese shares open lower

Beijing, March 23 (IANS) Chinese stocks opened lower on Wednesday with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index down 0.27 percent, at 2,991.17 points.

The smaller Shenzhen index opened 0.25 percent lower at 10,317.93 points, Xinhua news agency reported.

The ChiNext Index, tracking China’s NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, declined 0.31 percent to open at 2,214.87 points.

Tokyo stocks open higher on weak yen

Tokyo, March 23 (IANS) Tokyo stocks edged up from the off on Wednesday as a comparatively weak yen sent exporter shares higher.

As of 9.15 a.m. (local time), the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 21.43 points, or 0.13 percent, from Tuesday to 17,069.98, Xinhua news agency reported.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, was up 2.09 points, or 0.15 percent, to 1,372.02.

Early advancers comprised insurance, iron and steel, and pharmaceutical-linked stocks.

Chinese yuan strengthens

Beijing, March 23 (IANS) The central parity rate of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, strengthened 35 basis points to 6.4936 against the US dollar on Wednesday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.

In China’s spot foreign exchange market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by 2 percent from the central parity rate each trading day, Xinhua reported.

The central parity rate of the yuan against the U.S. dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.

Canadian stocks plunge

Toronto, March 23 (IANS) Canada’s main stock market in Toronto tumbled as the Liberal government rolled out its maiden federal budget, complicated with negative news of blasts in Brussels, Belgium and the death of former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index lost 67.60 points, or 0.50 percent, to close at 13, 493.49 points on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Five of the TSX index’s eight main sub-sectors were lower.

The Canadian dollar traded higher at $0.7672 on Tuesday, compared with Monday’s closing rate of $0.7642.

US dollar rises

New York, March 23 (IANS) The US dollar increased against the euro and sterling as investors assessed the impacts of explosions in Brussels that left at least 34 dead.

In late New York trading on Tuesday, the euro fell to $1.1212 from $1.1248 of the previous session, and the British pound dropped to $1.4201 from $1.4396, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Australian dollar went up to $0.7615 from $0.7595.

The dollar bought 112.41 Japanese yen, higher than 111.86 yen of the previous session. The dollar increased to 0.9730 Swiss francs from 0.9697 Swiss francs, and it inched down to 1.3047 Canadian dollars from 1.3067 Canadian dollars.

European currencies including the euro, sterling and Swiss francs, weakened against the greenback following the Brussels attacks. The sterling slipped more than 1.1 percent against the US dollar during the session on Tuesday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was up 0.42 percent at 95.691 in late trading.

Germany’s benchmark DAX index closes up

Frankfurt, March 23 (IANS) The benchmark DAX index at Frankfurt Stock Exchange went up slightly by 41.36 points and closed at 9,990 points.

Business sentiment has picked up in Germany on Tuesday, which helped boost the confidence of investors, according to local analysts, Xinhua news agency reported. The blue-chip DAX index gained 0.42 percent.

The utilities company RWE led the risers’ list with a 2.02 percent increase. HeidelbergCement advanced by 1.86 percent. ProSiebenSat1 Media climbed by 1.43 percent. Volkswagen rose by 1.29 percent and Adidas went up by 1.25 percent.

On the other hand, Deutsche Lufthansa dropped by 1.33 percent. Deutsche Bank lost 1.24 percent. E.ON slipped by 0.88 percent. Vonovia, a real estate company, plunged by 0.78 percent. Deutsche Telekom went down by 0.54 percent.

Daimler was the most traded share of the day with a turnover of 258.78 million euros (around $291.47 million).

Spanish stock market falls

Madrid, March 23 (IANS) The Spanish stock market index Ibex 35 fell 0.32 percent after Brussels terrorist attacks that killed at least 34 people to close at 8,992 points, down from the 9,021 points of the previous session.

The index Ibex 35 registered losses on Tuesday shortly after the terrorist attacks, Xinhua news agency reported. The index fell 1 percent in early trading and fell 2 percent after the attack reported at the Maelbeek metro station.

The attacks had an impact on share values of those companies related to tourism on Tuesday session: IAG shares fell 2.36 percent, AENA rose 0.39 percent and Amadeus showed no variations. Meanwhile, the hotel industry companies NH and Melia shares fell 3. 77 percent and 0.8 percent respectively.

On Tuesday session, ArcelorMittal shares led falls losing 2.44 percent, followed by IAG, Sacyr, Banco Santander and Banco Popular that lost 2.36 percent, 1.94 percent, 1.53 percent and 1.52 percent respectively.

On the other hand, Indra A shares led rises climbing 2.99 percent followed by Gamesa, Grifols, DIA, Abertis A and Inditex that rose 1.93 percent, 1.19 percent, 1.01 percent, 0.81percent and 0.57 percent respectively.

Spain’s risk premium and Spain’s 10-year bond interest rate showed no major variations when compared with Monday: the first closed at 122.9 points and the second closed at 1.4 percent.

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