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Saturday 19th of June 2010
June 17, 2010    

BP gains 6.74 percent after cancelling dividend

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by Elaine Frei
BP bains 6.74 percent after cancelling dividend

European equities markets saw gains Thursday as investors gained confidence after a sale of 10 and 30 year bonds in Spain sold out, with €3.5 billion in sales, calming concerns about that nation’s debt problems.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.3 percent to 5,253.89 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 0.04 percent to 9,863.8.

BP (LSE: BP) added 6.74 percent for the best performance of the day in London and in a mixed energy sector after it said it will cancel its dividend and put $20 billion in an escrow account to pay damages to victims of its Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The real estate sector was mixed, but managed to take three of the top five spots on the 250’s list of gainers list, led by Unite Group (LSE: UTG) as the student housing developer and manager led the index, adding 5.42 percent while property investor and developer St. Modwen’s Properties (LSE: SMP) gained 4.85 percent and property investor Hansteen Holdings (LSE: HSTN) was 3.23 percent higher.

The worst performers in the energy sector were wind turbine gearbox maker Hansen Transmission International (LSE: HSN), which dropped 3.88 percent to lead declines in the sector, followed by Melrose Resources (LSE: MRS) with a decline of 3.57 percent.

Gold and silver miner Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) turned in the worst performance in its sector and led declines on the 100 as it fell 2.84 percent and Xstrata (LSE: XTA) dropped 2.37 percent as metals prices fell in London trade.

Video game retailer Game Group (LSE: GMG) was the worst performer in the retail sector and led declines on the 250, falling 5.55 percent after it said that stores open at least a year saw sales drop 12 percent in the 19 weeks ending 12 June, while consumer electronics and household appliance retailer Kesa Electricals (LSE: KESA) added 4.5 percent for the best day in the sector.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.18 percent to 1,041.17 while the CAC-40 added 0.19 percent to 3,683.08, the Dax was 0.53 percent higher to 6,223.54 and the IBEX gained 0.74 percent to 9,755.1 on the session.

Asia-Pacific region markets were mixed on the session.

The Nikkei 225 fell 0.67 percent to 9,999.4 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was down 0.55 percent to 887.48 and the Mothers market dropped 2.43 percent to 413.32.

Many exporters were lower after the yen strengthened.

Among automobile manufacturers, Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) fell 0.8 percent while Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203), which gets 28 percent of its sales in North America, was down 1.1 percent.

The consumer electronics sector was also lower, with Panasonic (TYO: 6752), which sees 48 percent of its revenues come from outside Japan, was 2.6 percent lower, while Sony (TYO: 6758), with 21 percent of its sales in the US, dropped 2.8 percent.

Video games maker Nintendo (OSE: 7974), however, added 5.2 percent after UBS upgraded it from “neutral” to “buy”.

Tokyo’s consumer finance sector saw gains as Acom (TYO: 8572) gained 2.1 percent while Promise (TYO: 8574) was up 4.9 percent and Takefuji (TYO: 8564) added 6 percent on the session.

Other decliners in the region included the Straits Times Index, which was down 0.11 percent in Singapore, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.38 percent to 2,560.24 after trade resumed following three days off for a holiday.

The Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.55 percent to 4,547 in Australia, while the S&P/ASX200 was 0.7 percent lower to 4,527.3.

South Korea’s Kospi, on the other hand, added 0.15 percent to 1,707.92, while the Hang Seng was up 0.38 percent to 20,138.4 in Hong Kong, Taiwan’s Taiex was 0.83 percent higher to 7,515.78 and the Sensex gained 0.88 percent to 17,616.69 in India.

New York markets were down in early afternoon trade after the Labor Department reported that new claims for jobless benefits were up by 12,000 last week to 472,000 after three weeks of declines.

Also hurting the markets was new data on manufacturing from the Philadelphia region, where the Federal Reserve there reported that its index of manufacturing dropped to 8 this month after a reading at 21.4 in May, calling the pace of recovery from the recession into question.

At just past 1 p.m. in New York the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.54 percent lower to 10,353.68, while at the same time the S&P 500 had dropped 0.47 percent to 1,109.38 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.43 percent to 2,296.06.

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