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Royal Bank of Scotland leads bank losses in London

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by Elaine Frei
Royal Bank of Scotland leads bank losses in London

Most European equities markets were lower Wednesday, with banks in focus as most UK banks saw declines even as banks were among the best performers on the CAC-40 in Paris and on the Dax in Frankfurt.

In London, the FTSE 100 fell 0.68 percent to 4,006.83 and the FTSE 250 dropped 0.32 percent to 6,245.77.

Declines in banks were led by Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS; NYSE: RBS PRM), which was down 12.56 percent for the worst performance of the session on the 100.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.25 percent as the CAC-40 fell 0.04 percent to 2,874.07 and the Dax dropped 0.28 percent to 4,204.96 but the IBEX added 0.23 percent to 7,861.4 in Madrid.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower as well.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was 1.45 percent lower to 7,534.44 while the Topix index fell 0.96 percent to 749.26 and the Mothers market dropped 0.68 percent to 303.48.

Elsewhere in the region the Sensex was down 0.22 percent to 9,015.18 and the Kospi was 1.24 percent lower to 1,113.19.

In Australia the Sydney Ordinaries fell 1.33 percent to 3,366.9 and the S&P/ASX200 was down 1.48 percent to 3,413.2 while in China the Shanghai Composite dropped 4.72 percent to 2,209.86.

Gainers included the Taiex, which added 0.15 percent to 4,498.37 while the Hang Seng was up 0.55 percent to 13,016 and the Straits Times Index gained 0.8 percent to 1,651.06.

In early afternoon trade in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.17 percent lower to 7,539.86 while the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.05 percent to 1,469.97 and the S&P 500 had dropped 0.25 percent to 787.23.

Crude oil and most grains prices were lower on the session while precious metals prices gained and base metals prices were mixed.

The yen declined early while the euro was hurt by fears for banks in the Eurozone region as the recession seemed unlikely to end soon.

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News posted: February 18, 2009

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