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Sunday 16th of May 2010
May 14, 2010    

Wolseley manages only gain on 100

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by Elaine Frei
Wolseley manages only gain on 100

European equities markets were substantially lower Friday, hurt especially by banks and miners which were down on continuing worries about the debt crisis in the region and how that will affect economic recovery.

The FTSE 100 was 3.14 percent lower to 5,262.85 in London, while the FTSE 250 was down 2.56 percent to 10,022.9.

Building materials group Wolseley (LSE: WOS) was the only gainer on the 100, adding 4.98 percent after it said its trading profit for the full year will exceed analyst expectations.

The five biggest decliners on the 100 were all miners, falling as metals prices retreated, led by Xstrata (LSE: XTA), which dropped 7.93 percent for the worst performance in the sector, on the 100, and among all London shares.

In all, nine miners fell 5 percent or more, including iron-ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO), which fell 7.46 percent on the 250 while back on the 100 Eurasian Natural Resources (LSE: ENRC) was down 7.04 percent, Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) fell 6.93 percent, Vedanta Resources (LSE: VED) was 6.61 percent lower and Lonmin (LSE: LMI) dropped 6.2 percent.

Engineering group Renishaw (LSE: RSW) turned in the best performance on the 250 as it added 2.12 percent, while automobile retailer Inchcape (LSE: INCH) was the worst performer on the index and in the retail sector, falling 7.7 percent on the session.

In an all-lower energy sector, BP (LSE: BP) was down 3.18 percent on a dispute concerning how much oil is leaking from its damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Banks were lower in London, with Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC) decline of 6.11 percent worst in the sector, followed by Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) with a drop of 4.74 percent while Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) fell 4.11 percent.

Elsewhere in the region, Societe Generale (Euronext: GLE) dropped 8.63 percent to lead declines on the CAC-40 in Paris, while Spanish bank Banco Santander (BMAD: SAN) was down 9.8 percent in Madrid, Intesa Sanpaolo (BIT: ISP) was down 5.3 percent in Italy and Deutsche Bank (FWB: DBK) fell 4.15 percent on the Dax in Frankfurt.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 3.48 percent to 1,013.31 while the Dax fell 3.12 percent to 6,056.71, the CAC-40 was 4.59 percent lower to 3,560.36 and the IBEX dropped 6.64 percent to 9,314.7.

There were no gainers on the Dax and only one on the CAC-40, where aerospace and defense contractor EADS (Euronext: EAD) added 5.05 percent and was upgraded from “hold” to “buy” by Deutsche Bank on the theory that it is benefiting from the weakness of the euro.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly lower.

The Nikkei 225 was 1.49 percent lower to 10,462.51 in Tokyo, while the Topix index fell 1.21 percent to 936.45 and the Mothers market was down 0.92 percent to 456.22.

The declines in Tokyo came on a stronger yen and from companies which get a substantial amount of their revenues from Europe.

Consumer electronics giant Sony (TYO: 6758) dropped 6.79 percent on a disappointing full-year profits outlook, putting its expectation for net income at ¥50 billion for the fiscal year ending in March 2011, only about half what analysts anticipated, triggering several brokers to cut their target share prices for Sony.

Panasonic (TYO: 6752) was down 1.9 percent while camera maker Canon (TYO: 7751) fell 2.3 percent and Nintendo (TYO: 7974) dropped 2.55 percent.

Among carmakers, Mazda Motor (TYO: 7261) and Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) each fell about 1.9 percent on the session.

Other decliners included Singapore’s Straits Times Index, which was down 0.44 percent to 2,855.21, while the Shanghai Composite was 0.51 percent lower to 2,696.63.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries fell 0.78 percent to 4,643 and the S&P/ASX200 dropped 0.9 percent to 4,611.1, while the Hang Seng was down 1.36 percent to 20,145.43 and the Sensex was 1.57 percent lower to 16,994.6.

Taiwan’s Taiex and the Kospi in South Korea were up slightly on the session, adding 0.02 percent to 7,772.13 and 0.06 percent to 1,695.63 respectively.

New York markets were down as credit card companies and banks saw declines after the US Senate voted to limit fees that can be charged for transactions using credit and debit cards, as well as on continuing concerns about debt in Europe.

At just before one p.m. in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 1.79 percent lower to 10,589.93 while the S&P 500 was down 2.18 percent to 1,132.19 and the Nasdaq Composite had dropped 2.55 percent to 2,333.25.

Crude oil prices were down by nearly $3 per barrel in midday trade, while metals prices were mixed as copper and silver were both lower but gold had advanced slightly.

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