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Wednesday 23rd of September 2009
March 23, 2009    

Old Mutual, Barclays lead 100 higher

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by Elaine Frei
Old Mutual, Barclays lead 100 higher

European equities markets were higher Monday on gains in banks and other members of the financial sector after the United States detailed plans for a public/private effort, the Public-Private Investment Program, to buy up troubled assets from banks.

In London, the FTSE 100 added 2.86 percent to 3,952.81 while the FTSE 250 gained 1.89 percent to 6,391.21.

Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC; NYSE: BCS; TYO: 8642) led banks higher on the 100 while insurer Old Mutual (LSE: OML; JSE: OLOML) had the best day on the 100 as it added 17.12 percent on the session.

Elsewhere, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 added 3.05 percent to end the session at 739.77, its best close in a month, while the Dax was up 2.65 percent to 4,176.37, the CAC-40 was 2.81 percent higher to 3,869.57 and the IBEX gained 3.14 percent to 7,952.3.

Markets also saw gains in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Nikkei 225 added 3.39 percent to 8,215.53 in Tokyo, seeing its highest close in almost two months, while the Topix index was up 3.5 percent to 791.56 and the Mothers market gained 0.99 percent to 293.7.

The Shanghai Composite added 3.28 percent to 5,124.18 while in Australia the Sydney Ordinaries gained 2.29 percent to 3,483.1 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 3,440.3.

South Korea’s Kospi also added 2.44 percent, to 1,199.5 while the Taiex was up 3.28 percent to 5,124.18, the Straits Times Index was 4.21 percent higher to 1,664.08, the Hang Seng added 4.78 percent to 13,447.42 and the Sensex gained 5.1 percent to 9,424.02.

At just past 2 p.m. in New York the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 3.95 percent to 7,565.83 while the Nasdaq Composite had added 3.67 percent to 1,510,72 and the S&P 500 had gained 4.04 percent to 378.07.

Crude oil and most precious metals prices saw gains, as did copper prices, but while soybeans were up the price of wheat and corn saw declines.

The yen and the US dollar weakened while the euro and the pound saw gains.

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