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November 7, 2008    

Marks & Spencer adds nearly 3 percent

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by Elaine Frei
Marks & Spencer adds nearly 3 percent

European equities markets were higher Friday after the oil sector saw gains as oil prices rose and on the possibility that the US Federal Reserve might cut interest rates again before the end of the year, and despite gains in the US unemployment rate.

In London the FTSE 100 was up 2.69 percent to 4,387.14 while the FTSE 250 gained 0.99 percent to 6.585.58.

The retail sector saw gains as Marks & Spencer (LSE: MKS) added 2.97 percent on a broker upgrade to “outperform”.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.69 percent to 913.35 while the IBEX added 2.29 percent to 9,343.5, the CAC-40 was 2.42 percent higher to 3,469.12 and the Dax gained 2.59 percent to 4,938.46.

Asia-Pacific region equities markets were mixed.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 dropped 3.55 percent to 8,583 and the Topix index was down 3.33 percent to 879 while the Mothers market of small and mid-caps added 1.23 percent to 328.64.

Australian markets were also lower on the session, with the S&P/ASX200 down 2.37 percent to 4,051.3 while the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 2.43 percent to 4,006.6.

Elsewhere in the region, most markets saw gains as the Taiex added 1.03 percent to 4,742.33, the Shanghai Composite was up 1.75 percent to 1,747.71, the Sensex was 2.36 percent higher to 9,964.29, the Straits Times Index gained 2.43 percent to 1,863,49, the Hang Seng was up 3.29 percent to 14,243.43 and South Korea’s Kospi jumped 3.87 percent to 1,134.49.

In early afternoon trade on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.92 percent to 8,862.33 while the Nasdaq Composite added 1.79 percent to 1,637.52 and the S&P 500 gained 1.91 percent to 922.17.

Crude oil prices were up slightly, while metals and grains prices were mixed.

The US dollar weakened on the news that the unemployment rate in the United States rose to 6.5 percent, its highest level in 14 years.

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