Rough week ends on an upswing
May 21, 2010
The Oslo Stock Exchange had a rough week, like most stock exchanges around the world. Nervous investors rocked the finance markets but shares traded in Oslo finally showed some signs of recovery on Friday. Housing sales, meanwhile, have slowed down.
The main index of the Oslo Stock Exchange (Børsen) rose 1.55 percent to 344.20, after falling 3 percent the day before. At one point, stocks had been down 4.6 percent on Thursday.
“People just didn’t want to buy shares,” said Harald Magnus Andreassen, chief economist at First Securities in Oslo.
Buying interest returned somewhat on Friday. Shipping company Frontline ended the day up 1.36 percent, while fertilizer firm Yara was up 4.39 percent and Seadrill was up 6.71 percent.
Games maker Funcom, however fell 5.71 percent and Statoil only rose slightly.
The price of oil rose 2 percent, to USD 72.40 for a barrel of North Sea crude. Oil prices otherwise had taken a dive earlier in the week. All told, the Oslo Exchange ended the week off more than 5 percent.
Housing sales also seem to have hit the skids during the past week. An informal study by newspaper Aftenposten showed that only 48 of 117 properties listed for sale had actually sold during the past two months.
Given the low interest rates, some real estate experts were surprised that relatively few properties are changing hands. Others saw no reason for worry.
“It’s healthy that the housing market calms down a bit,” Steinar Juel, chief economist at Nordea, told Aftenposten.