Barclays down on Qatar share sale

| October 20, 2009
Barclays down on Qatar share sale

Equities markets were lower in Europe Tuesday after London banks fell and the energy sector declined with a drop in crude oil prices.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.72 percent to 5,243.4 in London, while the FTSE 250 was down 0.63 percent to 9,486.28.

Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC) led the banking sector lower, falling 4.79 percent on a report that the Qatari Investment Authority will sell £1.3 billion in shares, or nearly 380 million shares in the London bank.

Heritage Oil (LSE: HOIL) led the energy sector lower as it declined 6.67 percent on the 250, while over on the 100, Cairn Energy (LSE: CNE) was down 2.74 percent.

The biggest decliner in London was online gamer Party Gaming (LSE: PRTY), which dropped 15.61 percent on the 250, while IT group Autonomy Corporation (LSE: AU) dropped 8.65 percent for the worst performance of the day on the 100.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.39 percent to 1,022.5 while the CAC-40 fell 0.54 percent to 3,871.45, the Dax was 0.7 percent lower to 5,811.77 and the IBEX dropped 0.8 percent to 11,790.2.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher, but India’s Sensex was 0.59 percent lower to 17,223.01 and the Straits Times Index fell 0.02 percent to 2,711.09.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed at its highest level in three weeks, adding 0.98 percent to 10,336.84, while the Topix index was up 0.84 percent to 913.45 but the Mothers market was down 0.35 percent to 440.91.

The gains came on a weaker yen that helped exporters and on rising shares in the technology sector after US companies Apple (NAS: AAPL) and Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) both turned in positive quarterly reports, on sales and demand respectively.

Japanese shares with ties to China were aided by a statement that China’s gross domestic product grew by over 7 percent in the first three quarters of the year.

Elsewhere in the region the Taiex was 0.03 percent higher to 7,753.52 in Taiwan while the Kospi added 0.61 percent to 1,659.15 in South Korea and the Hang Seng was up 0.83 percent to 22,384.96.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries gained 1.06 percent to 4,862.8 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 1.11 percent to 4,846.2, while in China the Shanghai Composite added 1.52 percent to 3,084.45.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.68 percent lower to 10,023.19 while at the same time, at just past 1 p.m. local time, the Nasdaq Composite had fallen 0.84 percent to 2,157.96 and the S&P 500 was down 0.76 percent to 1,089.58.

The declines came on the news that home construction was up less than anticipated in September and producer prices dropped last month by the most since April.

The Labor Department reported that producer prices were down 0.6 percent in September, mostly on declines in energy prices, while the Commerce Department said in a separate report that new home construction in the United States rose by only 0.5 percent in September while applications for building permits during the month dropped by 1.2 percent.

The price of crude oil was lower while metals prices were mixed in early afternoon trade in New York.

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