The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) remained open at the start of trading on Wednesday, despite the state of emergency declared by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej in the wake of widespread street protests and confrontations accompanied by the threat of strikes, particularly in the utilities and transportation sectors. Although Thai equity markets have been down over 25% in the past three-and-a-half months, they are at present proving relatively resilient in the short term, given the circumstances.
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Russia's stock markets, hit hard by declines in world energy and commodity prices and done no favors by the Kremlin's decision to invade Georgia last month, are now declining at an even faster pace.
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In mid-July, the Belgian prime minister Yves Leterme (Christian-Democrat Flemish party, CDV) tried to resign: for the third time. King Albert II once more refused to accept the resignation and appointed a three-person commission to resolve the deadlock. This week it reports back to him, although the verdict will not be known for some days.
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Just as people who study oil prices look too much at the New York and London spot price, those who study gold prices look too much at the New York spot price and the twice-daily London fixes. Wednesday's phenomenal rise in the price of gold in New York was presaged in Asia. The day before, the spot price rose US$20 in Asian markets as investors dumping stocks began to shift to gold as a safe haven.
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