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September 11, 2006    

US miners lower on growth concerns

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by Elaine Frei

Declines in the oil and mining sectors sent Wall Street lower by midday on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq Composite, and the S&P 500 were all 0.1 percent lower at mid-session, with the Dow at 11,384.27, the Nasdaq at 2,163.86, and the S&P down to 1,297.32.

Concerns that economic growth around the world could slow sent metals prices lower, hurting miners. Newmont Mining was off by 4.3 percent to $46.11 and Barrick Gold was 4.5 percent lower to $29.97, while Freeport McMoran dropped 4.9 percent to $55.44 and Phelps Dodge fell 5.4 percent to $86.16.

Steelmakers were also hurt by dropping commodities prices. US Steel was 4 percent lower to $57.65 and Nucor dropped 5 percent to $47.19. Aluminium producer Alcoa also saw declines, falling 4.5 percent to $27.39.

Oil prices were down for the sixth straight session as OPEC declined to lower production levels and Iran agreed to temporarily halt its uranium enrichment activities. ExxonMobil was 2.5 percent lower to $65.17, while Chevron dropped 3.7 percent to $61.83. Ethanol manufacturer Archier Daniels Midland was also affected, falling 2.8 percent to $38.50.

Dell Computer was also lower at midday after it said it would suspend its share buyback and delay its quarterly report because financial regulators are looking at its records. Dell was 1.4 percent lower to $21.34. Also the victim of bad news, Genentech dropped 6.3 percent to $76.88 after it said that the Food and Drug Administration had asked for more information about the safety of its Avastin cancer drug before it would approve it for use by breast cancer patients.

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