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Thursday 16th of October 2008
October 15, 2008

Eurasian, Talvivaara lead FTSE 100, 250 lower

by Elaine Frei
Eurasian, Talvivaara lead FTSE 100, 250 lower

European equities markets were lower Wednesday as UK unemployment claims rose 31,800 in September to 939,900, after US retail sales were reported down in the same month, and on worries that initiatives taken to protect banks will not be sufficient to avoid a global recession.

The FTSE 100 was 7.16 percent lower to 4,079.59 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 5.46 percent to 6,707.12, led lower by miners, which declined sharply on declines in base metals prices.

The top four losers on the 100 and all five top losers on the 250 were miners, led by Eurasiasn (LSE: ENRC), which dropped 25.17 percent on the 100 and by Finland-based nickel miner Talvivaara (LSE: TALV) with a decline of 25.72 percent on the 250, while six other miners trading on the London exchange dropped by at least 20 percent on the session.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 6.46 percent to 903.67 while the IBEX fell 5.06 percent, the Dax was 6.49 percent lower to 4,861.63 and the CAC-40 dropped 6.82 percent to 3,381.07.

Most Asia-Pacific equities markets were also lower on worries about the economy, but in Tokyo the Nikkei 225 and the Mothers market of small and mid-caps saw gains.

While the Topix index dropped 0.08 percent to 955.51, the Nikkei was up 1.06 percent to 9,547.47 while the Mothers market gained 4.33 percent to 316.6.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 was down 0.81 percent to 4,300 and the Sydney Ordinaries fell 0.9 percent to 4,272.5, while Taiwan’s Taiex was 0.86 percent lower to 5,246.26, the Shanghai Composite dropped 1.12 percent to 1,994.67, the Kospi fell 2 percent to 1,340.28, the Straits Times Index was down 3.24 percent to 2,059.39, the Hang Seng was 4.96 percent lower to 15,998.3 and India’s Sensex dropped 5.87 percent to 10,809.12.

New York equities markets were hurt by a 1.2 percent decline in US retail sales in September, nearly twice the decline that had been expected so that within a half-hour of the close of floor trade the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 5.5 percent to 8,799.01 while the Nasdaq Composite had fallen 5.88 percent to 1,674.38 and the S&P 500 had dropped 6.71 percent to 931.08.

Crude oil, metals and grains futures were all lower on the session.

The yen saw gains as equities markets declined and investors lost interest in buying higher-yielding currencies.

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