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Monday 08th of February 2010
February 4, 2010    

Yell Group gains nearly 18 percent amid declines in London

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by Elaine Frei
Yell Group gains nearly 18 percent amid declines in London

European equities markets were significantly lower Thursday on concerns that the budget deficits of Greece, Spain and Portugal could be out of control, while a rise in first-time unemployment claims in the US also hurt the days results.

The pan-European FTSE Eurofirst 300 fell below 1,000 as it dropped 2.75 percent on the session to close at 992.93.

The FTSE 100 was 2.17 percent lower to 5,139.31 in London, while the FTSE 250 was down 2.06 percent to 9,223.84.

Amid all the declines, directories publisher Yell Group (LSE: YELL) added 17.8 percent to lead the 250 and all shares in London on the session.

There were only 5 gainers on the 100, led by mobile phone network operator Vodafone (LSE: VOD), which added 3.57 percent on a better than expected result for its fiscal third quarter and an improved outlook.

Miners were lower in London, led by Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) with a decline of 9.51 percent for the biggest drop in London and on the 100 as metals prices fell again, while Gem Diamonds (LSE: GEM) managed to add 0.33 percent for the only gain in the sector.

BlackRock World Mining Trust (LSE: BRWM), an investment trust that specializes in mining and metals, fell 5.99 percent on the 250, while iron-ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO) led declines on the 250 as it dropped 7.6 percent.

Elsewhere in the region, the Dax dropped 2.45 percent in Frankfurt to 5,533.24, while the CAC-40 was down 2.75 percent to 3,689.25 in Paris and the IBEX fell 5.94 percent to 10,241.7 in Madrid.

There were no winners on the CAC-40, while the three top decliners were all banks, followed by two carmakers.

Losers on the Frankfurt exchange were also led by banks, and in Spain Banco Santander (BMAD: SAN) dropped 9.4 percent despite reporting profits that were ahead of projections.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower Thursday, although South Korea’s Kospi managed to added 0.09 percent to 1,616.42.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was 0.46 percent lower to 10,355.98 while the Topix index fell 0.5 percent to 911.09 and the Mothers market dropped 1.44 percent to 407.26.

Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) saw another day of declines as it dropped 3 percent on urging by the US government to more adequately address safety issues.

After the markets closed, Toyota raised its prediction for the full year ending in March even though it said the current recall will cost the company up to $2 billion in the current quarter.

The carmaker forecast that it will sell 7.18 million vehicles worldwide this fiscal year, with 2.05 million vehicles sold in the United States, up from previous projections of 7.03 million sold globally and 1.97 million sold in the US.

Suppliers associated with Toyota were also down on the session as assembler Toyota Auto Body (TYO: 7221) fell 1.1 percent, Aisin Seiki (TYO: 7259) was down 3.8 percent and auto parts supplier Denso Corp (TYO: 6902) dropped 6.3 percent.

Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) also upped its full-year forecast and added 2.6 percent on the session.

The Taiex was down 0.08 percent to 7,542.04 while the Shanghai Composite was 0.28 percent lower to 2,995.31.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 fell 0.57 percent to 4,621.6 and the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.62 percent to 4,644.1.

The Straits Times Index was 0.72 percent lower to 2,744.98, the Sensex was down 1.64 percent to 16,224.95 and the Hang Seng was down 1.84 percent to 20,341.64.

New York markets were also down in early afternoon trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 1.98 percent to 10,067.03 while the S&P 500 was 2.3 percent lower to 1,071.99 and the Nasdaq Composite had dropped 2.32 percent to 2,140.02.

The declines came on the US Labor Department’s report that first-time jobless claims rose to 480,000 last week, the most in almost two months, and on concerns over the debt levels in some European countries.

Positive news on sales from some US retailers was not enough to overcome the negative data on jobs and European debt.

Prices for crude oil and metals were substantially lower in early afternoon trade in New York.

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