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Saturday 26th of June 2010
June 24, 2010    

McBride drops 22 percent to lead London declines

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by Elaine Frei
McBride drops 22 percent to lead London declines

European equities markets were lower Thursday as new concerns surfaced about Europe’s debt crisis and how it could be hurting economic recovery.

Greece, Spain and Portugal, all in focus as having debt problems, saw the biggest declines in the region, with the FTSE/ASE-20 dropped 4.16 percent in Greece while Spain’s IBEX fell 3.03 percent and Portugal’s PSI-20 was down 2.26 percent.

The FTSE 100 was 1.51 percent lower to 5,100.23 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 1.37 percent to 9,698.3.

Household and personal care products group McBride (LSE: MCB) was by far the biggest decliner in London as it fell 21.99 percent on the 250 after it said that materials costs will rise and markets will remain problematic.

Also seeing big declines on the 250 were software group Micro Focus International (LSE: MCRO), which was down 12.91 percent after it announced that it’s chief financial officer has left the company, while rail and bus operator Go-Ahead Group (LSE: GOG) dropped 9.02 percent as it warned that profits in its bus unit will be down next year.

All components in the mining sector were lower, led by copper and zinc miner Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ), which dropped 5.05 percent to lead declines on the 100.

The real estate sector was mostly lower, but residential property group Grainger (LSE: GRI) led gains on the 250 and in the sector as it added 5.03 percent, while over on the 100 gains were led by gas and electricity utility Centrica (LSE: CNA), which was 2.78 percent higher.

Retailers were also mostly lower, but supermarkets did better, led by Wm Morrison Supermarkets (LSE: MRW) with a gain of 2.6 percent.

Dana Petroleum (LSE: DNX) was the biggest decliner in an all-lower energy sector, dropping 7.98 percent after it said that two wells, one in Egypt and one in the North Sea, will not produce.

Banks were also lower in London, led by Barclays (LSE: BARC) with a decline of 4.36 percent, while they were also lower regionally as Greek bank Eurobank (Athex: EUROB) fell 5.2 percent, BNP Paribas (Euronext: BNP) led the CAC-40 lower with a delcine of 4.99 percent, Banco Santander (BMAD: SAN) dropped 3.2 percent in Spain, Banco Comercial Portugues (Euronext: BCP) was down 4.3 percent in Portugal, and Commerzbank (FWB: CBK) was 2.7 percent lower in Germany.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 1.89 percent to 1,020.43 while the Dax fell 1.44 percent to 6,115.48 and the CAC-40 dropped 2.37 percent to 3,555.36 and had no winners on the session.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on the session.

The Nikkei 225 was up 0.05 percent to 9,928.34 in Tokyo, while the Mothers market added 0.29 percent to 411.56 but the Topix index dropped 0.12 percent to 879.77.

Despite overall gains for the Nikkei, exporters were lower on a stronger yen and in reaction to new data from the US which showed that new home sales there were down 33 percent in May, the biggest one-month decline on record, after expiration of a tax credit to buyers.

Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203), which sees 28 percent of its sales in North America, was down 0.8 percent, while Nissan Motor (TYO: 7201), with its largest market in North America, dropped 1.2 percent.

Consumer electronics giant Sony (TYO: 6758), which gets 70 percent of its revenue outside of Japan, was down 1.1 percent.

Other gainers in the region included Taiwan’s Taiex, which added 0.1 percent to 7,589.89, while the Kospi was up 0.81 percent to 1,739.87 in South Korea.

Australia’s markets were lower as the Sydney Ordinaries fell 0.12 percent to 4,504.1 and the S&P/ASX200 dropped 0.14 percent to 4,479.7.

Some miners ended higher in Australia after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who had proposed a 40 percent tax on mining profits, stepped down and Julia Gillard replaced him, becoming the first female Prime Minister in the history of the nation.

BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) was 1.3 percent higher while Rio Tinto Group (ASX: RIO) added 1.7 percent and Macarthur Coal Ltd (ASX: MCC) gained 6.4 percent.

The Shanghai Composite was down 0.12 percent to 2,566.74, while India’s Sensex dropped 0.14 percent to 17,730.24, the Hang Seng fell 0.59 percent to 20,733.49 in Hong Kong, and the Straits Times Index was 0.82 percent lower to 2,847.61.

New York markets were lower in early afternoon trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.84 percent to 10,211.45 while the S&P 500 was down 1.1 percent to 1,080.05 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.04 percent lower to 2,230.78.

Crude oil prices were lower in midday trade, but metals were higher as gold added almost $12 per troy ounce and copper was up nearly 7 cents per pound.

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