RBS, Fresnillo lead declines as banks, miners drop

| January 21, 2010 | 0 Comments

European equities markets were lower Thursday on declines for banks and miners.

The FTSE 100 was 1.58 percent lower to 5,335.1 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.57 percent to 9,418.07, with the mining and banking sectors providing the nine worst performers on the session.

Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) dropped 7.05 percent as it had the worst day on the 100 and in London, with Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC) not far behind with a decline of 5.93 percent while Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) and Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) each also fell more than 5 percent.

Declines for miners came on lower metals prices and concerns that those operating in Australia could be hit with higher taxes.

Gold and silver miner Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) dropped the most in the sector as it fell 6.19 percent, followed closely by Anglo American (LSE: AAL), which was down 6.15 percent and Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) dropped 6.02 percent, all on the 100, while over on the 250 Aquarius Platinum (LSE: AQP) led decliners as it fell 4.95 percent, followed by iron-ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO), which was 4.23 percent lower on the session.

The biggest gainers on the session came in the travel and leisure sector, where British Airways (LSE: BAY) topped the 100 with a gain of 3.61 percent and Enterprise Inns (LSE: ETI) added 19.60 percent to lead the 250 and all London shares.

Utilities were well-represented among the top five gainers on the 100 as United Utilities Group (LSE: UU) added 3.24 percent, International Power (LSE: IPR) was up 2.47 percent and water utility Severn Trent (LSE: SVT) gained 1.77 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 1.52 percent to 1,036.51 for its lowest close in a month, while the CAC-40 fell 1.7 percent to 3,862.16, the Dax was 1.79 percent lower to 5,746.97 and the IBEX dropped 2.26 percent to 11,444.

There were only two gainers on the Dax and three advancing stocksd on the CAC-40.

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

The Nikkei 225 added 1.22 percent to 10,868.41 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was up 1.2 percent to 956.03 and the Mothers market gained 0.94 percent to 425.72.

Electronics shares and other exporters were generally up as the yen weakened slightly, but continuing worries about China’s economy amid government moves to tighten policy continued after new data showed that China’s gross domestic product rose slightly less than had been anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2009 over the same period in 2008.

TDK (TYO: 6762) added 4.8 percent after Citigroup upgraded its shares to “buy/high risk”, while Sony (TYO: 6758) was up 4.1 percent, Advantest (TYO; 6857) was 3.6 percent higher and Nikon (TYO: 7731) gained 2.7 percent.

Among carmakers, Honda Motor (TYO; 7267) was up 1.7 percent while Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) added 2.1 percent.

The Shanghai Composite was up 0.22 percent to 3,158.86 and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.45 percent to 1,722.01.

Australia’s markets were lower as the S&P/ASX200 fell 0.l84 percent to 4,827.2 and the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.93 percent to 4,849.6 while the Taiex was down 1l.13 percent to 8,127.87 in Taiwan, the Straits Times Index was 1.46 percent lower to 2,850.98, the Hang Seng fell 1.99 percent to 20,862..67 and the Sensex dropped 2.42 percernt to 17,051.14.

New York markets were much lower at midday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 2 percent to 10,391.17 while the S&P 500 had dropped 1.68 percent to 1,118.9 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.19 percent lower to 2,264.

The declines came as the Labor Department released new data showing that first-time unemployment claims were up by 36,000 last week and as President Barack Obama proposed strict new rules on banks.

Midday trade also found prices for crude oil and metals lower, despite the fact that crude oil inventories were down slightly last week in the United States.

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