Xstrata, Aquarius Platinum lead FTSE 100, 250

Xstrata, Aquarius Platinum lead FTSE 100, 250

European equities markets were lower Thursday as the banking sector turned from gains to losses, while miners were the best gainers on both the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 in London even though the mining sector was mostly lower on the session.

The 100 was down 2.45 percent to 4,190.11 while the 250 dropped 2.35 percent to 6,272.61.

Xstrata (LSE: XTA) added 3.61 percent for the best performance on the 100, while Aquarius Platinum (LSE: AQP; ASX: AQP; JSE: AQP) was up 13.14 percent to lead winners on the 250.

Elsewhere in the region, the Eurofirst 300 fell 1.78 percent to 796.4 while the Dax was down 2.01 percent to 4,428.11, the CAC-40 was 2.15 percent lower to 3,009.75 and the IBEX dropped 2.58 percent to 8,477.4.

Most Asia-Pacific markets, on the other hand, saw gains on the session.

In Tokyo the Nikkei 225 added 1.79 percent to 8,251.24 while the Topix index was up 1.76 percent to 818.47 and the Mothers market gained 0.01 percent to 337.88.

The Straits Times Index added 0.04 percent to 1,766.72 while the Kospi was up 0.74 percent to 1,166.56.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries gained 0.76 percent to 3,461.3 and the S&P/ASX200 was 0.88 percent higher to 3,526.2, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng added 4.58 percent to 13,154.43.

Indiaa��s Sensex dropped 0.23 percent to 9,236.28, while markets in China and Taiwan remained closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

In early afternoon trade in New York the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.39 percent to 8,175.29 while the Nasdaq Composite had dropped 2.97 percent to 1,512.12 and the S&P 500 was 2.81 percent lower to 849.57.

Crude oil prices were mixed while precious metals prices were higher on the session.

The US dollar saw declines on reports that durable goods orders fell in December in the United States while US unemployment gained again last week.

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