Cable & Wireless down over 23 percent after demerger

| March 26, 2010
Cable & Wireless down over 23 percent after demerger

Most European equities markets were lower Friday, with declines coming as investors were disappointed with a European Union plan to help Greece out of its economic troubles.

The plan involves the International Monetary Fund, only allows loans to Greece from individual Euro zone nations as a last resort, and stipulates that all Euro zone members agree before any loans are extended.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.43 percent to 5,703.02 in London, while the FTSE 250 managed to add 0.32 percent to 10,223.56.

The telecommunications sector provided much of the fuel for the declines on the 100 as Cable & Wireless Communications (LSE: CWC) dropped 23.31 percent to lead the index lower after it demerged Cable & Wireless Worldwide (LSE: CWP), which fell 5.75 percent.

Advertising and public relations business WPP Group (LSE: WPP) led gainers on the 100, adding 2.86 percent as ING began coverage with a “buy” recommendation.

Over on the 250, retailer HMV Group (LSE: HMV) led gains and provided the best performance in the sector as it added 10.41 percent, while the worst performance of the day on the 250 came from defense technology firm QinetiQ Group (LSE: QQ), which was down 4.59 percent.

The utilities sector was mostly lower after JPMorgan Chase issued downgrades within the sector.

The biggest drop in the sector came for International Power (LSE: IPR), which fell 3.88 percent after it was downgraded from “overweight” to “neutral”, while Scottish & Southern Energy (LSE: SSE) was cut from “neutral” to “underweight” and dropped 2.13 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 0.62 percent lower to 1,076.6 while the IBEX fell 0.18 percent to 11,071.1, the Dax was 0.21 percent lower to 6,120.05 and the CAC-40 dropped 0.29 percent to 3,988.93.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher ahead of the announced European Union plan to help Greece.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was up 1.55 percent to 10,996.37 while the Topix index added 1.53 percent to 966.72, but the Mothers market dropped 1.21 percent to 439.9.

Shares with connections to Europe did well, with copier and camera maker Canon (TYO: 7751), which gets 31 percent of its sales from Europe, adding 1.9 percent while electronics giant Sony (TYO: 6758), with its biggest market in Europe, added 2.2 percent.

Also in the electronics sector, Pioneer Corp (TYO: 6773) gained 9.6 percent on an analyst upgrade from “neutral” to “buy”.

Shares related to the semiconductors sector saw gains after US-based Qualcomm (NAS: QCOM) issued an increased profits forecast.

Advantest (TYO: 6857) was up 3.1 percent while Sumco Corp (TYO: 3436) added 3.2 percent and Shin-Etsu Chemical (TYO: 4063) gained 3.4 percent.

The Sydney Ordinaries added 0.18 percent to 4,905.2 in Australia, while the S&P/ASX200 was 0.24 percent higher to 4,896.9.

India’s Sensex was up 0.49 percent to 17,644.76 while the Taiex also added 0.49 percent, to 7,876.86, in Taiwan.

The Kospi was up 0.55 percent to 1,697.72, the Straits Times Index added 0.62 percent to 2,906.28, the Hang Seng was 1.32 percent higher to 21,053.11 and the Shanghai Composite gained 1.34 percent to 3.059.72.

Wall Street was mixed in early afternoon trade as the Dow Jones Industrial average had added 0.09 percent to 10,850.51 but the S&P 500 was down 0.06 percent to 1,164.99 and the Nasdaq Composite had dropped 0.3 percent to 2,390.31.

Crude oil prices were lower in afternoon trade, but metals were higher.

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