Eurasian Natural Resources leads FTSE 100 lower

| March 15, 2010
Eurasian Natural Resources leads FTSE 100 lower

European equities markets were lower Monday on concerns following a report from Moody’s Investors Services that the credit ratings of the United States and European nations such as the UK, Germany and France could be threatened.

The FTSE 100 was 0.57 percent lower to 5,593.85 in London, while the FTSE 250 fell 0.63 percent to 9,879.01.

Most companies dealing with basic resources were lower as prices for metals dropped and four of the five biggest losers on the 100 came from that sector, led by Eurasian Natural Resources (LSE: ENRC) with a decline of 3.41 percent and including a 3.1 percent decline by Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) while gold and silver miner Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) fell 3.07 percent and Xstrata (LSE: XTA) was down 3.02 percent.

However, there were a couple of gainers in the sector, led by paper and packaging manufacturer Mondi Group (LSE: MNDI), which added 1.51 percent on the session.

There were some gains in the pharmaceuticals sector, led by BTG (LSE: BGC), a specialist in products aimed at the treatment of cancer and neurological issues and at critical care, with a gain of 2.75 percent on the 250, while over on the 100 Shire plc (LSE: SHP) added 1.17 percent.

Centrica (LSE: CNA) was the biggest gainer on the 100 and in a mostly lower utilities sector, adding 1.62 percent, while oil and gas explorer Melrose Resources (LSE: MRS) led the 250 and all London shares with a gain of 3.13 percent.

The biggest decline in London came from pubs operator Enterprise Inns (LSE: ETI), which fell 4.07 percent on the 250, followed by HMV Group (LSE: HMV) with a decline of 4.06 percent for the biggest decline among retailers.

Chipmaker CSR (LSE: CSR) was down 3.94 percent after a reduced recommendation, from “buy” to “neutral” from UBS.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 and German’s Dax each dropped 0.7 percent, to 1,051.55 and 6,903.56 respectively, while the CAC-40 was down 0.93 percent to 3,890.91 in Paris and Madrid’s IBEX fell 1.08 percent to 10,957.8.

Most equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower Monday on concerns that China will issue further rules tightening monetary policy soon, but Tokyo markets were slightly even though investors seemed cautious ahead of policy-setting meetings scheduled this week by the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan.

The Nikkei 225 added just 0.01 percent to 10,751.98 while the Topxi index was up 0.27 percent to 938.91 and the Mothers market gained 0.31 percent to 424.85 as the yen weakened versus the US dollar.

Shippers saw gains as cargo prices rose, with Mitsui OSK Lines (TYO: 9104) adding 2.11 percent while Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (TYO: 9107) was 2.3 percent higher on the session.

Elsewhere in the region, the Sensex fell 0.01 percent to 17,164.99 while the Straits Times Index was down 0.24 percent to 2,874.33 and the Hang Seng was 0.62 percent lower to 21,079.1

In Australia the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.66 percent to 4,799.4 and the S&P/ASX200 fell 0.71 percent to 4,784.1, while South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.8 percent to 1,649.5.

The Shanghai Composite fell 1.21 percent to 2,976.94 while the Taiex dropped 1.46 percent to 7,634.92 in Taiwan.

New York markets were lower in early afternoon trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.21 percent to 10,602.02 while the S&P 500 had dropped 0.43 percent to 1,145.02 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.69 percent lower to 2,351.32.

The price of crude oil was lower at early afternoon in New York, while metals prices were mixed as copper fell but gold and silver prices saw gains.

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