Melrose Resources adds 6 percent

Melrose Resources adds 6 percent

European equities markets were higher to end the week Friday.

The FTSE 100 added 0.33 percent to 5,261.57 in London, while the FTSE 250 gained 0.47 percent to 9,000.65.

Oil and gas explorer Melrose Resources (LSE: MRS) turned in the best performance in London, adding 6.22 percent on the 250, while over on the 100 advertising and public relations group WPP Group (LSE: WPP) was up 3.98 percent to lead that indexa��s gainers.

Travel agents led the mostly higher travel and leisure sector as Thomas Cook Group (LSE: TCG) added 3.94 percent and TUI Travel (LSE: TT) was up 3.39 percent, while hotels and restaurants manager Whitbread (LSE: WTB) also gained in the sector, adding 3.1 percent.

Banks were lower, led by Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) with a decline of 3.44 percent for the biggest drop of the session on the 100, while Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) fell 2.49 percent.

Investment managers Blue Bay Asset Management (LSE: BBAY) dropped the most in London, falling 5.81 percent on the 250, while on the 100 investment managers Man Group (LSE: EMG) was down 1.93 percent.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE: LSE) was down 2.66 percent on the session.

Markets were mixed in the Asia-Pacific region.

Tokyoa��s markets gained on a weaker yen, which helped exporters, and on good news out of China, where industrial output grew by 19.2 percent in November, from November 2008 and imports were up by 26.7 percent.

The Nikkei was up 2.48 percent to 10,107.87 and the Topix index added 1.68 percent to 888.57, although the Mothers market of small and mid-caps dropped 0.14 percent to 398.37.

China-lined shares were higher as Hitachi Construction (TYO: 6305), which does significant business with China, gained 4.7 percent, while construction equipment manufacturer Komatsu (TYO: 6301) was 3.4 percent higher.

Chinaa��s markets, however, declined on concerns that the government there will raise interest rates after the growth, which also included a gain in consumer prices, with the Shanghai Composite falling 0.21 percent to 3,247.32.

Other gainers in the region included the Kospi, which added 1.53 percent to 7,795.07 while the Straits Times Index was up 0.68 percent to 2,800.75, the Hang Seng was 0.93 percent higher to 21,902.11 and Taiwana��s Taiex gained 1.53 percent to 7,795.07.

Indiaa��s Sensex fell 0.41 percent to 17,119.03, while in Australia the Sydney Ordinaries and the S&P/ASX200 each dropped 0.62 percent, to 4,635.2 and to 4,651.4 respectively.

New York markets were mixed at midday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.42 percent to 10,449.13 while the S&P 500 had added 0.17 percent to 1,104.22, but the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.29 percent to 2,184.49.

The gains came on new data from the Commerce Department showing that retail sales were up 1.3 percent in November, twice expectations, while a separate survey from Reuters and the University of Michigan said that consumer confidence is up this month.

Crude oil prices were slightly lower again in early afternoon trade in New York, while metals prices were mixed.

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