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Around the World

Global trading is a real concept.  Not too many decades ago, stocks for the most part traded on the stock exchanges in New York, Tokyo, and London.  Realistically that was it.  But things have changed during the last handful of years.  Just as we have had to incorporate after-hours trading in the U.S. into our thinking, we now have to consider a vast array of stock markets around the world.  Taking a quick count, there are stock exchanges in 52 countries that can be followed by any investor on their personal computer.  Some of these countries, like the U.S. have more than one place where stocks trade, not even taking into consideration the exchanges trading options and futures. 

     After the North American markets close, the next markets to open are the Pacific and Far East Markets.  While we are returning from a fun-filled weekend on Sunday evening the Pacific Rim countries are arriving for work on Monday morning.  The Pacific markets begin trading with the Australia and New Zealand markets opening at 6pm EST.  The New Zealand markets provide little impact but the Australian All-Ordinaries Index is followed globally.  At 7pm EST the Japanese and South Korean markets begin trading, followed shortly as the business day begins by the Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.  The most closely followed indexes in the region are the Nikkei 225 in Japan and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong.  Although there are stock exchanges across the Asian sub-continent and the Middle East the next significant markets to open are in Europe.  Like Asia, Europe and the eastern block countries have minor and major markets.  The markets in England, Germany and France are followed most closely along with their respective indexes, the FTSE 100, DAX, and CAC 40.    

     The significance of these different world markets is certainly their added liquidity to widely held stocks but also as a gauge to financial news occurring in the U.S. and global markets, and global political events happening when the U.S. markets are closed.  The Asian markets have a heavy concentration of hi-tech stocks so itís helpful to see how these markets respond to bad news in the U.S. tech sector.  The Asian markets often get their direction from the U.S. markets.   In turn, the Europeans watch how the Asian markets perform, and the U.S. markets are influenced by the trading day in Europe.  Itís worth watching how the other world markets around the world are doing because it will ultimately influence how your investments perform.

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