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November 11, 2009    

IT group Micro Focus International adds over 20 percent

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by Elaine Frei
IT group Micro Focus International adds over 20 percent

European equities markets were mostly higher Wednesday, although Madrid’s IBEX-35 fell 0.11 percent to 11,801.4 on the session.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.69 percent to 5,266.75 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 1.16 percent to 9,226.58.

Information technology group Micro Focus International (LSE: MCRO) turned in the best performance by far in London as it added 20.3 percent to lead the 250, followed by vehicle rental agents Northgate (LSE: NTG), which added 12.72 percent, also on the 250.

The real estate sector saw gains led by property investor Daejan Holdings (LSE: DJAN), which added 11.09 percent on the 250, while over on the 100 SEGRO (LSE: SGRO) was up 5.83 percent and Liberty International (LSE: LII) was up 5.12 percent.

Miners also saw gains as Randgold Resources (LSE: RRS) led gainers on the 100 as it added 6.14 percent while gold and silver miner Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) followed with a gain of 5.88 percent.

Publisher Reed Elsevier (LSE: REL) was the biggest decliner on the 100 as it fell 4.02 percent, while over on the 250 construction services Morgan Sindall (LSE: MGNS) dropped 4.55 percent for the biggest decline on the session in London.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.31 percent to 1,013.36 while the CAC-40 added 0.76 percent to 3,814.39 and the Dax gained 0.98 percent to 5,668.35.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher on the session, but the Shanghai Composite was 0.11 percent lower to 3,175.19 and Tokyo markets were mixed.

The Nikkei 225 was up a bare 0.01 percent to 9,871.68 while the Topix index fell 0.02 percent to 872.29 and the Mothers market dropped 3.09 percent to 404.89.

Japan Airlines Corp. (TYO: 9205) added 4.8 percent on a report that the Development Bank of Japan will float a ¥100 billion line of credit so the air carrier can continue to operate.

Chip-related shares and some retailers, however, were lower in light trade.

Aeon (TYO: 8267) fell 5 percent on concerns that share value could be diluted after the retailer said it would offer a convertible bond issue worth ¥100 billion, while among shares related to the semiconductors sector Advantest (TYO: 6857) was down 1.7 percent and Tokyo Electron (TYO: 8035) dropped 2 percent.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.46 percent to 4,765.9 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 0.49 percent to 4,757, while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.79 percent to 1,594.82, the Taiex was 0.98 percent higher in Taiwan, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.61 percent to 22,627.21, the Straits Times Index was up 1.21 percent to 2,740.43, and the Sensex gained 2.49 percent to 16,849.6 in India.

Wall Street was higher in midday trade, but gains were held back by a strengthening US dollar and light trade on the Veteran’s Day holiday, which saw banks, government offices and the US bond market closed.

At just before 12:30 p.m. in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.21 percent to 10,268.66 while at the same time the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.48 percent to 2,161.32 and the S&P 500 was 0.29 percent higher to 1,096.14.

The gains came on indications from officials of the US Federal Reserve that interest rates will remain low into next year, as well as on data showing that manufacturing activity in China grew to its highest level on over a year and a half in October.

Crude oil prices and the price of gold ere both up in New York trade, with oil up just slightly in late morning trade while gold hit another new record as December contracts approached $1,120 per troy ounce in electronic trade.

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