Shanks Group adds nearly 43 percent on bid

| December 7, 2009
Shanks Group adds nearly 43 percent on bid

European equities markets started the week with a session of declines on Monday.

The FTSE 100 was 0.22 percent lower to 5,310.66 in London, while the FTSE 250 was down 0.25 percent to 9,173.25.

By far the biggest gainer in London was Shanks Group (LSE: SKS), which added 42.62 percent on the 250 after it said a private equity firm has made a bid for the waste management business.

Banks in London were lower on the session after a report that the UK government could impose a windfall tax on banks, with the possibility that the tax could take the form of a tax on bonuses to bankers or might be a direct tax on investment banks themselves.

Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) led decliners in the sector and on the 100 as it dropped 4.71 percent, while Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) was down 4.13 percent and Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC) fell 2.13 percent.

Miners were mixed, with some down as metals prices declined, but copper miner Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) added 2.22 percent to lead gains on the 100 and in the sector.

Travel agents saw gains as Thomas Cook Group (LSE: TCG) added 1.94 percent and TUI Travel (LSE: TT) was up 1.5 percent on the session.

The biggest decliner in London was private equity and investment management group SVG Capital (LSE: SVI), which dropped 4.9 percent on the 250.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.48 percent to 1,020.81 while the CAC-40 and the IBEX were each 0.17 percent lower, to 3,840.05 and 12,011.8 respectively, and the Dax dropped 0.57 percent to 5,784.75.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on the session.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 added 1.45 percent to 10,167.6 and the Topix index was up 1.05 percent to 898.93, but the Mothers market fell 0.51 percent to 404.15.

Shares related to the manufacture of semiconductors were higher after Nomura Securities upgraded chip-making equipment manufacturers from “neutral” to “bullish”, sending Advantest (TYO: 6857) up 3.6 percent, while Tokyo Electron (TYO: 8035) added 3.6 percent, Nikon (TYO: 7731) was 5 3 percent higher and Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc (TYO: 8756) gained 8.4 percent.

Japan Airlines (TYO: 9205) added 7 percent on the possibility that the Japanese government might guarantee around ¥700 billion in funds, including loans, for the troubled air carrier while, in the same sector, All Nippon Airways (TYO: 9202) gained 4.5 percent.

Other gainers in the region included the Straits Times Index, which added 0.21 percent to 2,796.98, while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.45 percent to 3,331.9, the Kospi was 0.49 percent higher to 1,632.65 and the Taiex gained 1.63 percent to 7,775.64.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries and the S&P/ASX200 each fell 0.55 percent, to 4,695.2 and 4,676.5 respectively, while India’s Sensex was down 0.69 percent to 16,983.14 and the Hang Seng dropped 0.77 percent to 22,324.96.

New York markets were higher in midday trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.42 percent to 10,433.03 at just past 12:30 p.m. local time, while the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.15 percent to 2,197.68 and the S&P 500 was 0.3 percent higher to 1,109.31.

Crude oil and metals were both trading lower at midday in New York as the US dollar strengthened.

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