Lloyds Banking Group leads 100 as banks gain

| December 10, 2009 | 0 Comments
Lloyds Banking Group leads 100 as banks gain

European equities markets saw gains Thursday on gains for banks despite ongoing issues for several national economies.

The FTSE 100 was 0.78 percent higher to 5,244.37 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 0.44 percent to 8,958.6.

Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) led gainers on the 100 as it added 6.45 percent, followed to Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC), which was up 4.55 percent on the session.

The Bank of England held interest rates at 0.5 percent for the time being, and it also kept its target for asset purchases steady.

The biggest gainer of the London session was packaging group DS Smith (LSE: SMDS), which gained 13.39 percent on the 250 after it said it will top forecasts for its full year, while sporting goods retailer Sports Direct International (LSE: SPD) was the biggest decliner on the session, leading losers on the 250 as it dropped 6.51 percent in a mostly higher retail sector.

Most miners were lower, with Gem Diamonds (LSE: GEMD) performing worst in the sector as it fell 4.69 percent, while Xstrata (LSE: XTA) led decliners on the 100, dropping 2.09 percent.

Automobile rental agent Avis Europe (LSE: AVE) was worst in the travel and leisure sector with a decline of 4.77 percent, while pubs operator Enterprise Inns (LSE: ETI) led gainers in the sector as it added 4.9 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.98 percent to 1,004.36 while the IBEX added 0.46 percent to 11,594.7, the Dax was 1.08 percent higher to 5,709.02 and the CAC-40 gained 1.09 percent to 3,798.38.

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on the session.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 fell 1.42 percent to 9,862.82 while the Topix index was down 1.25 percent to 873.9 and the Mothers market dropped 1.34 percent to 398.92.

Carmakers were lower as the yen strengthened against the US dollar, with Nissan (TYO: 7201) down 1.4 percent while Honda (TYO: 7267) fell 1.5 percent, Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) was 1.6 percent lower and Mazda (TYO: 7261) dropped 3 percent.

Shippers dropped with cargo rates as the Baltic Dry Index declines again.

Nippon Yusen (TYO: 9101) was down 2.3 percent while Mitsui OSK (TYO: 9104) fell 2.5 percent and Kawasaki Kisen (TYO: 9107) dropped 4.3 percentl.

The real estate sector was disappointed with new data showing that the office vacancy rate in Tokyo was at 7.98 percent in November, its highest level in more than 5 and a half years.

Sumitomo Realty and Development (TYO: 8830) was 1.9 percent lower while Mitsui Fudosan (TYO: 8801) fell 2.8 percent and Mitsubishi Estate (TYO: 8802) was down 2.9 percent.

Other markets seeing declines on the session included Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, which was 0.19 percent lower to 21,700.04, while the Straits Times Index fell 0.55 percent to 2,781.86.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.64 percent to 4,622.9 while the S&P/ASX200 was 0.67 percent lower to 4,606.7.

Taiwan’s Taiex fell 1.53 percent to 7,677.91.

The Sensex added 0.37 percent to 17,189.31 in India, while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.45 percent to 3,254.26 and South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.14 percent to 1,652.73.

Wall Street was higher in early afternoon trade in New York, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.49 percent to 10,387.92, while at the same time the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.37 percent to 2,191.91 and the S&P 500 was 0.48 percent higher to 1,101.19.

The gains came after the Commerce Department said that the US trade deficit fell to $32.9 billion in October, against an expected widening, after the weakening of the dollar pushed US exports higher.

Early afternoon in New York saw crude oil prices slightly lower, while metals prices were mixed.

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