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April 20, 2010    

Associated British Foods leads London on results

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by Elaine Frei
Associated British Foods leads London on results

European equities markets were higher Tuesday as carmakers gained on strong first-quarter results from within the sector, while rising oil and metals prices also helped gains.

The FTSE 100 added 0.97 percent to 5,783.69 in London, while the FTSE 250 was up 0.93 percent to 10,487.59 as new data showed that consumer prices in the U were up 3.4 percent in March.

Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF) led gainers in London as it added 5.89 percent on the 100 after reporting that its net income was up 79 percent in its fiscal first half, while brewer SABMiller (LSE: SAB) added 4.5 percent to trade at a record high.

Oil and gas pipeline maker Wellstream Holdings (LSE: WSM) led a mostly higher energy sector as it gained 5.01 percent and topped winners on the 250, followed by oil well support services company John Wood Group (LSE: WB), which added 4.8 percent while Cairn Energy (LSE: CNE) was up 3.17 percent on the 100.

There were only 2 decliners in the energy sector as oil explorer EnQuest (LSE: ENQ) fell 0.26 percent and oil and gas construction and engineering group Lamprell (LSE: LAM) dropped 0.89 percent.

The mining sector was mostly higher, led by Talvivaara Mining Company (LSE: TALV) with a gain of 3.97 percent, but four of the five decliners in the sector landed within the top five losers on either the 100 or the 250.

Gem Diamonds (LSE: GEMD) was the biggest decliner among miners as it fell 1.92 percent for the worst performance on the 250, while Aquarius Platinum (LSE: AQP) dropped 1.47 percent on the 250 as Xstrata (LSE: XTA) and Randgold Resources (LSE: RRS) dropped 0.69 percent and 0.58 percent respectively on the 100.

Supermarket Tesco (LSE: TSCO) turned in the worst performance on the 100 as it dropped 1.47 percent, while home shopping retailer N Brown Group (LSE: BWNG) was the worst performer in the sector with a decline of 1.82 percent.

Auto retailer Inchcape (LSE: INCH) was the best performer in the retail sector with a gain of 2.46 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.41 percent to 1,103.41 while the IBEX added 0.95 percent to 11,305.6, the CAC-40 was 1.41 percent higher to 4,026.65 and the Dax gained 1.65 percent to 6,264.23.

There were no losers on the Dax and only for decliners on the CAC-40, with both led by automakers as Peugeot (Eurofirst: UG) was up 5.07 percent in Paris and Daimler AG (FWB: DAI) gained 7.42 percent in Frankfurt on strong results from the first quarter.

More markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher than lower on the session.

In Tokyo, the Topix index was 0.13 percent higher to 972.11, but the Nikkei 225 was 0.07 percent lower to 10,900.68 and the Mothers market dropped 3.15 percent to 473.95.

Banks were higher after it became known that the US Securities and Exchange Commission was divided on whether or not to bring charges against Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), which made investors more confident that the inquiry would not spread to other banks.

Mizuho Financial Group (TYO: 8411) added 0.5 percent after Morgan Stanley upped its recommendation from “in-line” to “attractive”, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (TYO: 8316) was up 0.8 percent.

The automobile manufacturing sector was higher on an upgrade within the sector, on good results, and on a positive outlook from German carmaker Daimler AG (FWB: DAI).

Suzuki Motor (TYO: 7269) added 0.9 percent on reports that it will raise production in India, while Mazda Motor (TYO: 7261) was up 2.7 percent after Goldman Sachs upped its rating from “neutral” to “buy” and Isuzu Motors (TYO: 7202) gained 4.6 percent on a full-year profit that was more than anticipated.

Australian markets were up as the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.2 percent to 4,949.5 and the S&P/ASX200 gained 0.22 percent to 4,925.8, while India’s Sensex was up 0.34 percent to 17, 460.58 after the central bank there raised interest rates for the second time in a month and banks were asked to put more cash in reserves in order to fight inflation.

The Taiex was up 0.59 percent to 7,900.42 in Taiwan while the Straits Times Index added 0.69 percent to 2,981.37, South Korea’s Kospi was 0.75 percent higher to 1,718.03 and the Hang Seng gained 1.02 percent to 21,623.38 in Hong Kong.

In China, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.03 percent to 2,979.53 as the real estate sector declined again.

New York markets were higher on gains in the energy sector as crude oil prices rose and as some airports re-opened and some airline flights resumed in Europe.

In midday trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.36 percent to 11,131.8 while the S&P 500 had added 0.82 percent to 1,207.37 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.76 percent higher to 2,498.88.

Metals prices joined crude oil prices in gains.

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