National Express Group adds 10.5 percent on rival’s interest

National Express Group adds 10.5 percent on rival's interest

Equities markets in Europe were higher Monday.

The FTSE 100 added 1.76 percent to 5,281.54 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 1.28 percent to 9,546.64.

The biggest gainers and losers in London were on the 250, where public transport operators National Express Group (LSE: NEX) added 10.5 percent on confirmation that rival Stagecoach (LSE: SGC) has indicated interest in merger talks, while in the energy sector oil and gas explorers Salamander Energy (LSE: SMDR) dropped 3.85 percent on the session.

Over on the 100, gainers were led by asset management group Schroders (LSE: SDR.L, SDRt.L), as non-voting shares added 5.94 percent and voting shares gained 4.96 percent, while the biggest lower on the index was insurer Aviva (LSE: AV), which dropped 1.51 percent.

Miners were higher on gains in metals prices, led by Anglo American (LSE: AAL) which added 4.75 percent while Xstrata (LSE: XTA) gained 3.95 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.63 percent to 1,026.11 while the CAC-40 added 1.69 percent to 3,892.36 and had only 3 losers on the session, the IBEX was 1.79 percent higher to 11,885.3 and the Dax gained 1.9 percent to 5,852.56.

The automobile manufacturing sector saw gains in European markets.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher Monday, but in Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries fell 0.84 percent to 4,801.8 and the S&P/ASX200 dropped 0.9 percent to 4,792.8 after an analyst said the economic recovery there will proceed at a slower pace than anticipated and following last weeka��s remarks from the Reserve Bank of Australiaa��s governor that interest rates could go up again next month.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.21 percent to 10,236.51, but the Topix index added 0.54 percent to 905.8 and the Mothers market was up 1.12 percent to 442.46.

The Nikkei was hurt by disappointing quarterly reports from US companies and by a decline in US consumer sentiment this month.

Japan Airlines (TYO: 9205) added 11.9 percent on sentiment that the big declines its shares suffered last week were too much, but Fast Retailing (TYO: 9983) dropped 3.7 percent on a downgrade by JPMorgan Chase from a�?neutrala�? to a�?underweighta�?.

Elsewhere in the region, the Sensex was up 0.02 percent to 17,326.01 while the Straits Times Index added 0.13 percent to 2,711.7, the Taiex was 0.47 percent higher to 7,751.32, the Kospi was up 0.53 percent to 1,649.07, the Hang Seng added 1.23 percent to 22,200.46 and the Shanghai Composite gained 2.07 percent to 3,038.27.

New York markets were higher in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1.03 percent to 10,098.46 at just before 12:30 p.m. while at the same time the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.97 percent to 2,177.8 and the S&P 500 was 0.94 percent higher to 1,097.91.

Prices for oil and metals were also higher in midday trade.

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