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Friday 15th of January 2010
January 13, 2010    

Hochschild leads miners lower in London

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by Elaine Frei
Hochschild leads miners lower in London

European equities markets were mixed Wednesday.

In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.46 percent to 5,473.48 and the FTSE 250 dropped 0.35 percent to 9,569.52.

Miners were lower, led by Hochschild Mining (LSE: HOC), which dropped 4.48 percent on the 250 while Randgold Resources (LSE: RRS) topped losers on the 100 as it fell 2.8 percent.

In the energy sector, Royal Dutch Shell’s ‘A’ shares (LSE: RDSA) were down 1.77 percent after Morgan Stanley reduced its recommendation on the oil company.

The biggest decliner in London was Electra Private Equity (LSE: ELTA); the investment trust was down 4.47 percent on the 250.

Insulation and roofing group SIG (LSE: SHI) saw the biggest gain in London as it added 10.1 percent on the 250, while investment manager Schroders’s (LSE: SDR) voting shares added 2.68 percent to lead gainers on the 100.

Banks were mixed, with Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) leading winners in the sector as it added 2.36 percent.

Admiral Group (LSE: ADML) added 2.2 percent after Bank of America Merrill Lynch hiked its target share price on the auto insurer.

Madrid’s IBEX was also lower, dropping 0.07 percent to 11,958.3, but the FTSE Eurofirst 300 added 0.22 percent to 1,056.26 while the CAC-40 was up 0.02 percent to 4,000.86 and the Dax gained 0.34 percent to 5,963.14.

The Shanghai Composite fell 3.09 percent to 3,172.66 and most other markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower after Tuesday’s unexpected move by the People’s Bank of China to raise the size of reserves banks in the Asian nation are required to keep on hand.

China’s central bank raised bank reserve requirements as a way of putting a leash on lending by making less money available to hand out as loans in order to keep inflation from getting out of hand.

The Nikkei 225 was 1.32 percent lower to 10,735.03 in Tokyo, while the Topix index fell 1.06 percent to 944.02 but the Mothers market managed to add 1.37 percent to 410.83.

Shares of Japan Airlines (TYO: 9205) continued to plummet, falling 81 percent on the session to just ¥7, on ongoing worries that the air carrier will declare bankruptcy.

Bridgestone Tire (TYO: 5108) was 3.3 percent lower after Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut its recommendation on the tire maker from “buy” to “underperform”.

Australian markets were hurt by declines among miners after Tuesday’s drop in oil and metals prices, with the S&P/ASX200 and the Sydney Ordinaries each falling 0.64 percent, to 4,868.1 and 4,900.1 respectively.

The Straits Times Index was down 0.95 percent to 2,888.38 while the Taiex fell 1.36 percent to 8,196.56, the Kospi dropped 1.6 percent to 1,671.41 and the Hang Seng was 2.59 percent lower to 21,748.6.

India’s Sensex added 0.5 percent to 17,509.8 on the session.

Wall Street was higher on gains by banks as executives of big banks testified before the Congressional Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in Washington, D.C.

The testimony included admissions that moves by banks contributed to the financial crisis and resulting recession.

At a bit past 12:30 p.m. in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.55 percent to 10,685.76 while the S&P 500 had added 0.67 percent to 1,143.86 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.71 percent higher to 2,298.41.

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