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Tuesday 09th of February 2010
January 6, 2010    

Marks & Spencer declines as results do not satisfy

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by Elaine Frei
Marks & Spencer declines as results do not satisfy

European equities markets were higher Wednesday, led by London’s markets as the FTSE 100 added 0.14 percent to 5,530.04 and the FTSE 250 gained 0.34 percent to 9,589.53.

The gains came despite declines in the retail sector as Marks & Spencer Group (LSE: MKS) turned in the worst performance of the session in London, dropping 6.79 percent after its gain in underlying sales did not meet expectations.

The real estate sector was also mostly lower, with British Land Co (LSE: BLND) down 2.57 percent for the second-biggest decline on the 100.

The biggest gain in London came on the 250, where online gambler PartyGaming (LSE: PRTY) added 6.28 percent, while IT group Autonomy Corporation (LSE: AU) added 6.12 percent to lead the 100.

Three of the five biggest decliners on the 250 traded ex-dividend, including the biggest loser on the index, Dairy Crest Group (LSE: DCG), which fell 5 percent.

Also trading ex-dividend were food maker Northern Foods (LSE: NFDS), with a decline of 3.96 percent, and retailer WH Smith (LSE: SMWH), which dropped 3.71 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.07 percent to 1,061.11 while the Dax added 0.04 percent to 6,034.33, the CAC-40 was 0.12 percent higher to 4,017.67 and the IBEX gained 0.15 percent to 12,222.5.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher on the session.

The Nikkei 225 added 0.46 percent to 10,731.45 in Tokyo and the Topix index was up 1.26 percent to 931.13, but the Mothers market of small and mid-caps dropped 2.42 percent to 404.64.

Nintendo (TYO: 7974) added 6.9 percent on record sales of its Wii game console in the US in December.

Banks were also higher, with Mitsubishi UFJ (TYO: 8306) up 4.4 percent while Sumitomo Mitsubishi Financial Group (TYO: 8316) was 5.5 percent higher and Mizuho Financial Group (TYO: 8411) gained 6.1 percent.

Japan Airlines (TYO: 9205) dropped 6.7 percent on a report that Japan’s Finance Ministry and the Development Bank of Japan want the air carrier to file for bankruptcy so that it can restructure.

Other gainers included the Sensex, which added 0.08 percent to 17,701.13, while the Straits Times Index was up 0.35 percent to 2,930.49, the Hang Seng was 0.62 percent higher to 22,416.67, the Kospi added 0.87 percent to 1,705.32 and the Taiex gained 1.42 percent to 8,327.62.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.15 percent to 4,921.4 but the S&P/ASX200 fell 0.06 percent to 4,921.4, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.85 percent to 3,254.22.

New York’s markets were lower in midday trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped 0.03 percent to 10,568.46 just before 1 p.m. local time, while the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.24 percent to 2,303.13 and the S&P 500 had fallen 0.1 percent to 1,135.4.

Prices for crude oil and metals were higher during the session in New York.

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