Legal & General leads insurers, FTSE 100

| September 29, 2009 | 0 Comments
Legal & General leads insurers, FTSE 100

European equities markets were mixed Tuesday, while Asia-Pacific region markets were mostly higher but US markets were lower by midday.

The FTSE 100 dropped 0.12 percent to 5,159.72 in London, but the FTSE 250 added 0.5 percent to 9,215.57 on the session.

Insurers were higher in London, led by Legal & General (LSE: LGEN) with a gain of 4.75 percent for the best performance on the day on the 100, while Standard Life (LSE: SLET) added 3.04 percent and Aviva (LSE: AV) was up 2.96 percent.

Miners were the biggest losers on both the 100 and the 250 as Gem Diamonds (LSE: GEMD) dropped 3.64 percent on the 250 and was the worst in the sector, while Lonmin (LSE: LMI) fell 3.23 percent on the 100.

Soft drinks manufacturer AG Barr (LSE: BAG) added 11.41 percent for the best day on the 250.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher, helped by the news that Taiwan is thinking about giving its semiconductors and flat-panel manufacturers permission to open factories in China, while it is also considering letting Chinese investors buy shares in those companies.

Tokyo markets, meanwhile, were up on a weaker yen, which sent shares in exporters higher.

Domestic sectors such as retailers and utilities declined, however, on consumer prices that were 2.4 percent lower in August than they were during the same month last year.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 added 0.91 percent to 10,100.2 while the Topix index was up 0.13 percent to 904 and the Mothers market gained 1.37 percent to 450.19.

The Kospi added 0.87 percent to 1,690.05 while the Sensex was up 0.96 percent to 16,852.91 and the Straits Times Index was 1.3 percent higher to 2,663.31.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries added 1.5 percent to 4,747.2 and the S&P/ASX200 was 1.62 percent higher to 4,753.1, while in Taiwan the Taiex was up 2 percent to 7,429.98 and the Hang Seng gained 2.06 percent to 21,013.17 in Hong Kong.

The Shanghai Composite bucked trends in the region and dropped 0.33 percent to 2,754.54.

New York markets were lower in midday trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.29 percent to 9,761.33 by just past 12:30 p.m. while the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.42 percent to 2,121.7 and the S&P 500 had fallen 0.19 percent to 1,060.95.

Wall Street’s declines came after the Conference Board reported that its US Consumer Confidence Index was at 53.1 in September, down from 54.5 in August, after it was expected to rise to 57.

Crude oil prices were down slightly in afternoon trade, while at the same time precious metals prices were higher.

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