GlaxoSmithKline leads London pharma

GlaxoSmithKline leads London pharma

European and Asia-Pacific region equities markets were mixed Monday as the pharmaceuticals sector saw gains as a swine flu outbreak that began in Mexico spread to other areas of the globe.

In the UK, GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK; NYSE: GSK) added 5.67 percent to lead the FTSE 100 while AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN; NYSE: AZN) was up 3.72 percent.

In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.27 percent to 4,167.01 but the FTSE 250 was 1.22 percent lower to 7,279.92, while the FTSE Eurofirst 300 added 0.53 percent to 814.67 and the Dax gained 0.42 percent to 4,694.07 but the CAC-40 fell 0.01 percent to 3,102.43 and the IBEX dropped 1.25 percent to 8,777.

Tokyo’s markets were higher on gains in the pharmaceuticals sector after Chugai Pharmaceutical (TYO: 4519), which sells its partner Roche’s Tamiflu flu drug, added 14 percent.

The Nikkei 225 was up 0.21 percent to 8,726.34 while the Topix index added 0.37 percent to 833.1 and the Mothers market gained 2.84 percent to 352.27.

Other gains in the region included India’s Sensex with a gain of 0.38 percent to 11,371.85 while in Australia the S&P/ASX200 was up 0.52 percent to 3,731.6 and the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.59 percent to 3,690.

The Kospi was down 1.05 percent to 1,339.83, the Shanghai Composite fell 1.77 percent to 2,405.35, the Straits Times Index was 1.85 percent lower to 1,818.61, the Hang Seng was down 2.74 percent to 14,840.42 and the Taiex dropped 2.99 percent to 5,705.05.

New York markets were lower in early afternoon trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.25 percent to 8,056.22 while the Nasdaq Composite was 0.4 percent lower to 1,687.55 and the S&P 500 had dropped 0.54 percent to 861.56.

Crude oil prices fell on fears that the flu outbreak would lead to declines in travel, while most metals prices were also lower.

Grains prices fell, as did prices for meat and livestock on fears surrounding the flu outbreak.

The Mexican peso weakened, while the US dollar and the yen saw gains as investors sought safety.

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