ICAP, Tullett Prebon lead 100, 250 in London

| March 10, 2010
ICAP, Tullett Prebon lead 100, 250 in London

Equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher Wednesday.

The FTSE 100 added 0.68 percent to 5,640.57 in London, while the FTSE 250 was up 0.93 percent to 9,865.29.

Inter-dealer money brokers led both the 100 and the 250, with Tullett Prebon (LSE: TLPR) gained 25.73 percent on the 250 after it was identified as a possible takeover target of foreign banks, while over on the 100 ICAP (LSE: IAP) added 4.46 percent on the session.

Banks were also higher on reports that Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC) is interested in buying a retail bank in the US.

Barclays was up 0.59 percent while Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) led the London sector with a gain of 3.91 percent and Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) added 0.49 percent despite trading ex-dividend.

Four of the five biggest decliners on the 100 traded ex-dividend, with only investment manager Schroders non-voting shares managing to avoid going ex-dividend.

British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS) was the biggest decliner on the 100, falling 3.1 percent, followed by Schroders (LSE: SDRt) non-voting shares, which dropped 2.68 percent as its voting shares (LSE: SDR) fell 2.38 percent.

Rounding out the top losers on the 100 were TUI Travel (LSE: TT), which dropped 1.91 percent and Cardiff-based auto insurer Admiral Group (LSE: ADM), which was down 1.51 percent.

The biggest decline in London came from electronics group Laird (LSE: LRD), which dropped 8.87 percent on the 250, while William Hill (LSE: WMH) traded ex-dividend and fell 3.45 percent.

Miners saw gains on higher copper prices, with the exception of Hochschild Mining (LSE: HOC), which dropped 0.07 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.55 percent to 1,058.38 while the Dax and the CAC-40 each added 0.86 percent, to 5,936.72 percent and 3,943.55 percent respectively, and the IBEX gained 1.07 percent to 11,121.

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on the session.

The Nikkei 225 was down 0.04 percent to 10,563.92 in Tokyo, while the Topix index dropped 0.21 percent to 922.44 and the Mothers market fell 0.69 percent to 417.08.

Machinery makers were higher after core machinery orders in Japan fell less than had been expected in January, dropping 3.7 percent rather than the predicted 4.1 percent.

Machine tool maker Okuma (TYO: 6103) was up 5.3 percent while Amada (TYO: 6113), which manufactures metal processing machines, added 1.1 percent.

On the other hand, Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) was down again, dropping 1.4 percent on another recall, this time of some Tundra pick-ups in the US and after an investigation was launched into an incident in which a Prius went out of control on a California freeway when the driver was unable to slow the vehicle.

Shippers were lower in Tokyo as well as elsewhere in the region after cargo rates fell.

Australian markets were mixed as the Sydney Ordinaries added just 0.01 percent to 4,829.8 while the S&P/ASX200 dropped less than a point to 4,820.

The Hang Seng added less than a point to 21,208.29, while the Kospi was up 0.08 percent to 1,662.24, the Taiex gained 0.11 percent to 7,779.08, the Sensex was 0.27 percent higher to 17,098.33 and the Straits Times Index added 0.8 percent to 2,862.29.

The Shanghai Composite dropped 0.66 percent to 3,048.93.

New York markets were mixed at midday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.25 percent to 10,538.08 while the S&P 500 had added 0.09 percent to 1,041.52 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.39 percent to 2,349.9.

Also at midday, crude oil prices were lower and metals had retreated after early gains for copper.

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