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March 9, 2010    

Shanks Group down on rejected bid

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by Elaine Frei
Shanks Group down on rejected bid

Equities markets in Europe were mixed Tuesday.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.08 percent to 5,602.3 in London, while the FTSE 250 fell 0.12 percent to 9,774.68.

Waste management company Shanks Group (LSE: SKS) was the biggest decliner of the day in London as it dropped 15.12 percent on the 250 after its board of directors rejected a takeover offer.

The real estate sector saw declines as property investor Liberty International (LSE: LII) was down 4.05 percent for the worst performance on the 100 after it said it will divide into two companies, one for its shopping center activity and another for its developments in London, while developer and investor Hammerson (LSE: HMSO) was down 1.59 percent.

Most miners were lower as metals prices declined, with Aquarius Platinum (LSE: AQP) having the worst day in the sector with a decline of 1.89 percent.

Power generator rental agent Aggreko (LSE: AGK) had the best day on the 100 as it added 2.01 percent, while engineers Weir Group (LSE: WEIR) led the 250 and all London shares with a gain of 7.86 percent.

Auto retailer Inchcape (LSE: INCH) added 7.38 percent on the 250.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 0.06 percent lower to 1,052.82 and the IBEX dropped 0.68 percent to 11,002.8, but the Dax and the CAC-40 each added 0.17 percent on the session, to 5,885.89 and 3,910.01 respectively.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher on the session, but India’s Sensex dropped 0.29 percent to 17,052.54 and Tokyo markets were slightly lower on profit-taking after recent gains.

The Nikkei 225 was down 0.17 percent to 10,567.65 in Tokyo, while the Topix index fell 0.32 percent to 924.38 and the Mothers market dropped 0.09 percent to 419.99.

Auto parts manufacturer Ikekt (TYO: 6473) was down 3 percent on a downgrade to “neutral” from Credit Suisse, which also lowered the parts maker’s target share price on the theory that its growth will be hurt as troubled carmaker Toyota (TYO: 7203) buys fewer parts from the company.

Consumer electronics groups Panasonic (TYO: 6752) and Sony (TYO: 6758) were both higher on plans to start selling 3-D televisions in the United States.

Panasonic, which added 2.1 percent on the session, will introduce its new product to the US market on Wednesday while Sony, which was up 1.1 percent, plans to begin sales of its new TVs in the US in June.

South Korea’s Kospi and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng each added 0.05 percent, to 1,660.83 and 21,207.55 respectively, while the Taiex was up 0.11 percent to 7,770.59 and the Straits Times Index gained 0.18 percent to 2,839.54.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.2 percent to 4,829.3 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 0.25 percent to 4,820.1 while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.52 percent to 3,069.14.

New York markets were up in midday trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average had added 0.44 percent to 10,598.92, the S&P 500 was up 0.48 percent to 1,143.94 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.76 percent higher to 2,349.99.

Midday saw crude oil trading slightly lower in New York, while metals prices were mixed.

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