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September 28, 2009    

Taylor Wimpey leads London homebuilders higher

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by Elaine Frei
Taylor Wimpey leads London homebuilders higher

European and US equities markets were helped to gains Monday by mergers news that included purchases by US companies Xerox Corp (NYSE: XRX), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ).

The new acquisitions were seen as a sign that the global economy is recovering.

The FTSE 100 was 1.64 percent higher to 5,165.7 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 1.01 percent to 9,151.56.

Homebuilders were higher, led by Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW) with a gain of 7.3 percent.

Building supplies group Wolseley (LSE: WOS) added 11.15 percent to lead gainers on the 100, while directories publisher Yell Group (LSE: YELL) led the 250 with an advance of 9.34 percent.

Interactive gamers Rank Group (LSE: RNK) dropped the most on the 250 with a decline of 3.75 percent and consumer goods producers Home Retail Group (LSE: HOME) turned in the worst performance on the 100 as it fell 3.18 percent.

Elsewhere in the region, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.63 percent to 999.91 while the IBEX added 2.12 percent to 11,891.2, the CAC-40 was 2.3 percent higher to 3,825 and the Dax gained 2.78 percent to 5,736.31.

On the other hand, markets in the Asia-Pacific region saw declines on the session.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 fell 2.5 percent to 10,009.52 while the Topix index was down 2.15 percent to 902.84 and the Mothers market dropped 3.57 percent to 444.09.

Japan’s markets were lower on a stronger yen, which gained 2.5 percent on the US dollar and was at ¥88.23 for a time, its best level versus the greenback in eight months.

Exporters declined substantially on the yen’s moves, while shippers were lower after Mitsui OSK Lines (TYO: 9104) said its operating loss for the half-year ending 30 September will likely be triple forecasts.

India’s Sensex as down 0.53 percent to 16,693 while in Australia the S&P/ASX200 fell 0.76 percent to 4,677.4 and the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.8 percent to 4,676.9.

The Taiex was down 0.83 percent to 7,284.61 while the Kospi fell 0.94 percent to 1,675.55, the Straits Times Index was 1.26 percent lower to 2,629.25, the Hang Seng was down 2.07 percent to 20,588.41 and the Shanghai Composite dropped 2.65 percent to 2,763.52.

New York markets were higher at midday on news of the new acquisitions even though Xerox (NYSE: XRX) was down substantially after reports that it will buy IT group Affiliated Computer Services (NYSE: ACS).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.5 percent to 9,809.69 in midday trade, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 2.25 percent to 2,137.91 and the S&P 500 had gained 1.84 percent to 1,063.63.

At 12:30 p.m., Xerox was down over 18 percent.

Crude oil prices were up in afternoon trade, while metals prices were mixed.

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