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Saturday 07th of November 2009
October 23, 2009    

Plastics group Filtrona leads London markets

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by Elaine Frei
Plastics group Filtrona leads London markets

Most European markets were lower Friday, but London markets saw gains even though new data showed that the UK’s gross domestic product fell by 0.4 percent in the third quarter, against an expected gain of 0.1 percent.

The FTSE 100 was 0.68 percent higher to 5,242.57 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 0.05 percent to 9,323.65.

Plastics group Filtrona PLC (LSE: FLTR) led London markets as it gained 8.14 percent on the 250 while insurer Prudential (LSE: PRU) added 5.15 percent to lead the 100.

House builder Redrow (LSE: RDW) was the biggest loser on the 250 and in London as it dropped 6.01 percent while telecommunications provider BT Group (LSE: BT.A) fell 3.15 percent for the worst performance on the 100.

Miners were higher on the session, led by Anglo American (LSE: AAL) with a gain of 4.16 percent, with the only exception in the sector being Talvivaara Mining Company, which dropped 2.24 percent on the session.

Banks were also higher, led by Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) with a gain of 3.45 percent.

Elsewhere in the region, markets were lower as oil companies and the pharmaceuticals sector saw declines.

Pharma was led lower by Irish drug company Elan (ISE: ELN.I), which dropped 22 percent on the news that a multiple sclerosis drug it makes will be reviewed by European regulators after evidence that it causes brain infections.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.49 percent to 1,009.73 while the CAC-40 fell 0.33 percent to 3,808.24, the Dax was 0.39 percent lower to 5,740.25 and the IBEX dropped 0.75 percent to 11,739.8.

Asia-Pacific markets were higher on the session, although Tokyo’s Topix index saw a decline.

The Nikkei 225 was up 0.15 percent to 10,282.99 in Tokyo and the Mothers market of small and mid-caps added 1.11 percent to 448.62, but the Topix dropped 0.72 percent to 902.03.

Shares sensitive to China’s economy were higher on speculation that its economy will continue to do well after a report said that the economy there grew by 8.9 percent in the third quarter.

Hitachi Construction (TYO: 6305) added 3.1 percent while rival construction machinery manufacturer Komatsu (TYO: 6301) was up 1.3 percent.

Reports of continuing troubles for Japan Airlines (TYO: 9205) sent it shares down 6.6 percent on the session, but it still ended the week higher than it began on Monday.

Elsewhere, India’s Sensex added 0.13 percent to 16,810.81 while the Taiex was up 0.54 percent to 7,649.28 in Taiwan and South Korea’s Kospi was 0.6 percent higher to 1,640.17.

The Sydney Ordinaries gained 0.85 percent to 4,859.7 in Australia while the S&P/ASX200 was up 0.97 percent to 4,859.4.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index was 1.24 percent higher to 2,715.34 while the Hang Seng added 1.71 percent to 22,589.73 in Hong Kong and the Shanghai Composite gained 1.85 percent to 3,107.85.

In midday trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.72 percent to 10,008.53 while at the same time the Nasdaq Composite had fallen 0.08 percent to 2,163.5 and the S&P 500 had dropped 0.89 percent to 1,083.21.

The declines came on pessimistic assessments about the recovery from top executives of two railroads, Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) and Burlington Northern (NYSE: BNI).

A report from the National Association of Realtors that existing home sales were up 9.4 percent in September did not help markets because the jump, twice what had been anticipated, was not seen as the beginning of a trend because it was likely driven by home buyers who were hurrying to close purchases before the expiration of a tax credit at the end of next month.

Oil prices were down slightly and metals were mixed in afternoon trade in New York.

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