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September 21, 2009    

RBS leads 100, London banking sector lower

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by Elaine Frei
RBS leads 100, London banking sector lower

European equities markets were lower Monday as banks and miners both saw declines.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.74 percent to 5,134.36 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.93 percent to 9,220.65.

Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS; NYSE: RBS PRM) led the 100 lower and was the worst-performing constituent of the banking sector as it dropped 5.15 percent.

Gold and silver miner Hochschild Mining (LSE: HOC) was the worst performer on the 250 and in the mining sector as it fell 6.11 percent, while three miners were included in the 100’s top five decliners as Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) was down 3.64 percent, Xstrata (LSE: XTA) was 3.63 percent lower and Vedanta Resources (LSE: VED) dropped 3.48 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.68 percent to 999.64 while the CAC-40 fell 0.41 percent to 3,812.16 in Paris, Spain’s IBEX was 0.42 percent lower to 11,727.4 and the Dax dropped 0.62 percent in Frankfurt.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower on concerns that share prices have risen too high in recent rallies and after miners declined on lower metals prices.

The exception to the declines was the Shanghai Composite, which added 0.15 percent to 2,967.01 on a late-day rally by retailers and ahead of 8 days of holidays beginning on 1 October.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries fell 0.2 percent to 4,684.1 and the S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.34 percent to 4,667.4, while the Kospi was 0.25 percent lower to 1,695.5 in South Korea, the Taiex fell 0.32 percent to 7,502.46 in Taiwan and the Hang Seng dropped 0.7 percent to 21,472.85 in Hong Kong.

Tokyo’s markets were closed in recognition of Respect-for-the-Aged Day and will remain closed for the next two days as well for continuing public holidays, while both the Sensex and the Straits Times Index were closed to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

US markets were mixed at just before noon in New York.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.34 percent lower to 9,786.34 and the S&P 500 was down 0.36 percent to 1,064.44, but the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.21 percent to 2,137.38.

The Nasdaq was helped by a rally among biotechnology shares after Celgene Corp (NAS: CELG), which makes drugs to treat cancer and ADHD, received a broker upgrade.

Prices for crude oil and precious metals were lower in midday trade in New York.

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