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Friday 06th of February 2009
August 8, 2008

British Airways leads FTSE 100, travel shares higher

by Elaine Frei
British Airways leads FTSE 100, travel shares higher

European equities markets were up Friday on gains for airlines, retailers and carmakers after crude oil prices resumed their declines.

In London, the FTSE 100 added 0.21 percent to 5,489.2 while the FTSE 250 gained 1.25 percent to 9,201.9.

Travel-related shares gained with the drop in oil prices, with British Airways (LSE: BAY; NYSE: BAB) leading the way on the 100 as it added 8.14 percent, while Thomas Cook (LSE: TCG.L) was up 7.72 percent and TUI Travel (LSE: TT) gained 7.71 percent.

Elsewhere in Europe, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.65 percent to 1,197.85 while the Dax was 0.28 percent higher to 6,561.65, the IBEX added 0.7 percent to 11,799.9 and the CAC-40 gained 0.77 percent to 4,491.85.

Equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on the session as some markets saw gains but China’s markets saw big declines on the session.

The Shanghai Composite dropped 4.47 percent to 21,885.21 on worries about security threats during the Olympic Games, which are scheduled to begin with today’s opening ceremonies, and on investor disappointment that the Chinese government did not introduce any measures to help the markets before the games began.

Other decliners in the region included the Straits Times Index, down 0.96 percent to 2,807.54, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.99 percent to 21,885.21.

Tokyo’s markets were mixed as the Nikkei 225 added 0.33 percent to 13,168.41 and the Topix index gained 0.09 percent to 1,259.93 but the Mothers market of small and mid-caps dropped 0.71 per cent to 471.76.

Australia’s markets saw gains, with the S&P/ASX200 up 0.06 percent to 4,986.2 and the Sydney Ordinaries gaining 0.15 percent to 5,037.6 while South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3 percent to 1,568.72, India’s Sensex was up 0.33 percent to 15,167.82 and the Taiex gained 2.63 percent to 7,209.04 in Taiwan.

Wall Street was higher at midday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 2 percent to 11,659.74 while the Nasdaq Composite was 1.97 percent higher to 2,402.21 and the S&P 500 gained 1.73 percent to 1,287.94.

The price of crude oil was down significantly, while metals and grains also saw declines.

The US dollar was stronger versus the euro while the South African Rand and Australia and New Zealand dollars all saw declines.

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