London markets down on oil, mines

In London on Wednesday, declines in the oil sector and online gaming, as well as a weak start to the trading day in New York all combined to send the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 down on the day. The 100 was down by 1.2 percent to 6,010, while the 250 was off by 0.3 percent to 9,896.3.

The news that a bill prohibiting online gambling in the US had gone before a congressional subcommittee sent shares in UK online gaming companies down on the day. PartyGaming dropped 4.5 percent to 148p, while Sportingbet lost 4.6 percent to 402p and 888 Holdings was down by 5.8 percent to 230½p. Even though many analysts believe that the legislation will survive the committee, most do not believe it will be approved when the full House of Representatives votes on it, most likely in June.

Falling crude oil prices sent BG Group down 2.3 percent to 745½p. BP lost 1.6 percent to 677p, and Cairn Energy dropped 0.6 percent to £24.33.

Miner Kazakhmys dropped 3.8 percent to £11.49 on disappointing production levels in the first quarter.

Gainers on the day included Northern Rock. The bank added 2.4 percent to £10.96 on an upgrade to “buy” from Deutsche Bank. Meanwhile, pubs operator Mitchells & Butlers, which added 7 percent to 516p on hopes of an offer by financier Robert Tchenguiz, and computer games company SCi Entertainment gained 4.3 percent to 537p on hopes that its new game will be a hit.

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